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Materials Science at Oregon State University

Rational Design of Chemistry and Process Development for Atomic Layer Deposition

Date: Thursday, Feb 27th
Presenter: Dr. Tom Knisley, Lam Research Corporation


Thin film growth is an essential step in the production of functional devices and materials. Current trends in microelectronics device manufacturing are calling for the growth of conformal films at thickness ranges from tens of nanometers down to a few atomic layers. In addition, uniform coverage of three-dimensional features with high aspect ratios is required if the current trend in microelectronics miniaturization is to continue. With advanced devices predicted to reach the 14 nm node in late 2014 and 10 nm in 2016, the need for producing thin conformal films with precise thickness control becomes increasingly important. This push toward smaller feature sizes requires controlled growth of films as thin as a few angstroms. The atomic layer deposition (ALD) film growth method is well suited for nanoscale film growth, since it affords inherently conformal coverage and sub-nanometer film thickness control due to its self-limited growth mechanism. ALD precursors must combine high thermal stability, high reactivity toward a second reagent to afford the desired thin film material, and enough volatility to permit vapor transport.

The Deposition Product Group at Lam Research has recognized this opportunity and has made significant strides in ALD process development for a multitude of applications with much success. In this talk, several opportunities and challenges towards integrating ALD processes into a manufacturing environment will be discussed with a focus towards oxide, nitride, and metallic thin films.