Wafer Level Supercritical Carbon Bioxide-Based Metal Depositon for Microelectronic Applications

Award Information
Environmental Protection Agency
Award Year:
Phase II
Award Id:
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
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Small Business Information
7516 Precision Dr., Raleigh, NC, 27617
Hubzone Owned:
Minority Owned:
Woman Owned:
Principal Investigator:
James DeYoung
Director of R&D
(919) 313-2108
Business Contact:
James DeYoung
Director of R&D
(919) 313-2108
Research Institution:
This proposal describes the application, development and commercial scale-up of a process successfully developed under EPA contract number EP-D-04-042 for the deposition of copper and copper barrier materials such as ruthenium, titanium and other metals. This process could replace CU electroplating currently used to fill deep trenches and thin film deposition in microelectronic circuit manufacturing. In addition, physical vapor deposition and electroless deposition of barrier materials could also be replaced. The electroplating process generates large quantities of aqueous wastes with copper ions and other dangerous chemical that must be treated in place. The proposed process uses liquid or supercritical carbon dioxide solvent to transport a metal precursor to a semiconducting wafer substrate. In addition to being environmentally benign, this process provides additional control of the metal deposition process to create superior films and electrical interconnects. This project is part of an overall strategy to replace aqueous and organic solvents in microelectronics fabrication. The wafer to be coated will be immersed in supercritical CO2solvent containing the precursor. The wafer is heated independently of the chamber and a reactant is added to initiate a reaction with a metal precursor leaving behind a metal film on the wafer substrate surface. Because of the low surface tension and viscosity of the carbon dioxide phase, the precursor will penetrate uniformly into the narrow gaps on the surface of the patterned substrate. After the conversion of the metal precursor, a solid metallic layer remains on the surface which forms the desired interconnect, thin layer structure or barrier layer. Because of the never-ending demand for faster processor speeds and enhanced storage capacities, smaller and more sophisticated structures are required in modern semiconductor products. As dimensions shrink, copper interconnects and metallic barrier and seed layers will be scrutinized like never before in efforts to achieve maximum yields. New processes and materials will be adopted in the coming years to meet the challenges of evolving semiconductor products. As an environmentally benign and technically superior process, metal deposition from supercritical CO2 will have a preferred place in the marketplace.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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