Motorola’s Semiconductor Products Sector (SPS) and DuPont Air Products NanoMaterials (DA NanoMaterials) plan, under the terms of a recent agreement, to collaborate on an advanced copper chemical mechanical planarisation (CMP) formulation.
According to a statement, Motorola will provide its CMP formulation for 0.13 to 0.10 micron design rules to DA NanoMaterials, which will manufacture and market the slurry formulation globally.
Copper slurry is a liquid chemical abrasive that enables the removal of unwanted bulk copper off of the surface of the wafer during the semiconductor manufacturing process. The remaining copper, defined by the inlaid structures etched from the oxide interlevel dielectric layer, provides the metal interconnect structures.
Motorola is said to have developed a copper CMP slurry that has been demonstrated to provide exceptional performance on high volume production lines. The slurry has been refined over the last three generations of advanced copper interconnect processing to enhance the key attributes required to successfully produce sub 0.13 micron devices.
DA NanoMaterials was formed in January 2000 to manufacture and market CMP slurries, abrasives and related components. The two companies have worked together for the last 18 months to optimise the formulation and will now expand their relationship to market and sell the product globally.
Under the long-term agreement, the advanced slurry will be marketed under DA NanoMaterials’ Ascend(R) trademark. Motorola will provide for the transfer of the licensed technology, as well as technical support and training while DA NanoMaterials will provide the capability for installation, manufacture of the slurry and quality control through its production facility in Ruabon, Wales.
The fully formulated copper slurry reportedly provides copper removal rates in excess of 5000 A/min and very low dishing and erosion. The slurry also has exceptional stability and is compatible with most slurries used for the barrier metal layers.
The total current CMP slurry market is valued at approximately $300 million and is expected to grow at an annual rate of 22 percent during the next three years. The copper CMP slurry market is estimated to be $50 million of the total, but is expected to grow at least three times faster than the overall CMP slurry market.