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Content archived on 2024-05-27

Ferroelectric CVD layers for memory applications


The project addresses the proof of an equipment concept suitable of producing ferroelectric layers based on chemical vapor deposition. This concept will be verified using an existing MOCVD reactor which is intended to be upgraded as a production tool for ferroelectric devices on 200mm silicon wafers. The project includes the development of optimised materials and processes to be used in the manufacturing of the new, promising FeRAM devices which are expected to serve as a "Universal RAM" since it combines high speed and non-volatility. Moreover, the processes used are designed for cost-effective implementation since they are compatible with existing mainstream silicon technology.

Ferroelectrics are very promising materials for a wide range of microelectronic applications. They can be used as the dielectric layers in universal memory devices (FeRAMs) combining the advantages of the fast but volatile dynamic memories (DRAMs) and non-volatile memories (e.g. EEPROMs). They also simplify the integration of capacitances in high-volume logic devices like telecom devices or chipcards. Alltogether, it is a market of billions of devices in applications for everyone. The project objective is to provide competitive materials, processes, and tools compatible with the specifications of the 0.18?m technology and beyond. The envisaged process sequence will provide improved device performances and will enable simplified devices and printed circuit board architectures.

The layer properties, process, and the performance of the equipment will be specified based on the inputs from the "users" in the consortium. Focus will be put on the quality of the layers as well as on the durability. The equipment specifications will continuously be assessed with respect to the competitive situation. A MOCVD reactor available at the research institute will be equipped with a new vaporising unit for the liquid precursor materials. This TriJet (TM) vaporiser is used for the first time in 200mm silicon technology. It promises very good run-to-run reproducibility and a long-time stability. The control software of the deposition reactor has to be modified to integrate the new vaporiser unit in the control system and give an easy access to all hardware components for the deposition process. This modification will also improve the throughput of the module. Ferroelectric layers will be deposited on silicon substrates with different interface layers to optimise the deposition process with respect to the target specifications. Simple test devices will be prepared to demonstrate the basic functions and the compatibility with the required pre-processing and post-processing steps. Advanced layer and device characterisation tools are available for comprehensive assessment.

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Participants (5)