Applied Materials Provides a New Material for the Future of Chips

wallpapers Innovations 2020-07-21

The Problems Facing Chipmakers

Computer chips consist of switches called transistors that help them perform digital logic of ones and zeros. But these transistors must be connected to a conductive metal to send and receive electrical signals. The metal is usually tungsten, chosen by chip makers because it has low resistance and allows electrons to move quickly. Traditional methods of filling transistors with contact metal have become a key bottleneck, although developments in lithography have helped narrow the through-hole for transistors, the official Press release on Applied Materials said.

Applications of Tungsten in Conventional Transistors

Traditionally, transistor contact is formed in a multilayer process. The contact hole is first lined with a bonding and barrier layer made of titanium nitrite, then deposited into a nucleating layer, and the remaining space is filled with tungsten, which is the preferred contact metal due to its low resistivity.  But at the 7nm node, the diameter of the contact hole is only about 20nm.The lining barrier and nucleation layer account for about 75% of the through-hole volume, whereas tungsten accounts for only about 25%. Fine tungsten wire has a high contact resistance, which is an important problem

The Material Revolution at Applied Materials

Applied Materials says it has developed a new process that eliminates the need for other materials and USES tungsten only at joints, speeding up connections. Applied Materials points out that the company's selective Tungsten technology (SELECTIVE Tungsten technology) is an integrated materials solution that combines multiple processes in an original high vacuum environment that is many times cleaner than the clean room itself. The chip is surface treated at the atomic level and USES a unique deposition process to selectively deposit tungsten atoms in the contact through hole, resulting in a perfect bottom-up fill without stratification, joints or gaps. Applied Materials introduced The Applied EnduraVolta CVD Cobalt system, which is the only system today capable of implementing Cobalt thin films through chemical vapor deposition in a logic chip copper interconnect process. Cobalt thin films have two applications in the copper process, the Liner and the Capping Layer, increasing the reliability of copper interconnections by an order of magnitude. This application is the most significant material change in copper interconnection technology in 15 years. The Endura Volta system, based on Applied Materials' industry-leading precision materials engineering technology, overcomes yield limits by providing CVD-based flat liners and selective cladding to help our customers advance copper interconnection technology to 28 nanometers and below.