Fraunhofer IPMS: Investments for Beyond Moore process development and evaluation on 300 mm wafers

They form the central nervous system of the information age: silicon semiconductor chips. Silicon wafers serve as carriers of information that is produced by the most modern methods and processes. The Fraunhofer IPMS based in Dresden offers research and development services for semiconductor production in the 300 mm wafer sector.



Under the brand name Screening Fab the Fraunhofer IPMS offers process developments and evaluations of chemicals, consumables and equipment for the semiconductor industry. On 300 mm wafers, processes such as cleaning, ECD, thin film deposition and CMP as well as patterning options are offered on site or in a network with various local partners.

Within the framework of the Microelectronics Research Factory Germany (FMD), investments for state-of-the-art equipment for wafer processing and analysis were acquired recently in order to expand the screening and development opportunities for new challenges in the More Moore and Beyond Moore research area.

Specifically, a new UHV-Endura2 cluster system from Applied Materials with four multitarget deposition chambers of Clover and Roswell type with a total of 21 target positions together with pre-clean, anneal, degas and co-sputter options for 300 mm wafers was acquired. This allows flexible use for material development for emerging memories such as MRAM, FRAM and FeFET memory concepts or for functionalizing the wiring levels (BEoL) for innovative applications in the area of passive components and sensor technology. In this process, layers are generated by means of physical gas phase deposition in the (sub-)nm range, which are characterized by highest purity.

A further major investment for ALD and CVD developments was the installation of an XP8 platform from ASM, which is suitable for SiGe layers and oxide deposition. Furthermore an EMERALD chamber for high-k dielectrics and liner processes is now available. These technologies are essential for integrative developments of capacitor and sensor elements as well as data storage for IOT and industry 4.0 applications.

The analytical portfolio has been complemented by Phi's HAXPES/XPS Quantes photoelectron spectroscope, Oxford Instruments' Cypher atomic force microscope (AFM/PFM) and Thermo Fisher's Apreo scanning electron microscope equipped with a QUANTAX EBSD system and Bruker's OPTIMUS™ TKD option. These systems allow deeper element and structure analysis as well as better resolution on the nanoscale.

With these investments the Fraunhofer IPMS secures its long-term technological competitiveness in the R&D area at the semiconductor location Dresden (Germany) and expands its competencies in the field of consumable screening as well as memory development and capacitors for neuromorphic and low-power sensor systems.


Image: Fraunhofer IPMS