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Wafer Level Supercritical Carbon Dioxide-Based Metal Deposition for Microelectronic Applications

Award Information
Agency: Environmental Protection Agency
Branch: N/A
Contract: EPD05052
Agency Tracking Number: B04P1-0009
Amount: $225,000.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: 04-NCER-P1
Solicitation Number: PR-NC-04-10483
Solicitation Year: 2005
Award Year: 2005
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2005-04-01
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2006-06-30
Small Business Information
7516 Precision Drive
Raleigh, NC 27617
United States
DUNS: 960475226
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: Yes
Principal Investigator
 James DeYoung
 Director of R&D
 (919) 313-2108
Business Contact
 James DeYoung
Title: Director of R&D
Phone: (919) 313-2108
Research Institution

This research project involves the application, development, and commercial

scale up of a process for the deposition of copper and copper barrier materials

such as ruthenium, titanium, and other metals. This process could replace copper

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 also could be replaced. The

electroplating process generates large quantities of aqueous wastes with copper

ions and other dangerous chemicals that must be treated in place.

MiCell Technologies, Inc.’s proposed process uses liquid or supercritical

carbon dioxide (CO2) 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 research 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 CO2 solvent 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 CO2 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 that

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 position in the marketplace.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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