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Shipley launches the development of ZirkonTM LK ultra-low permittivity porous spin-on dielectric

Rohm & Haas Co : 29 May, 2001  (New Product)
Shipley Company L.L.C. today announced the development of ZirkonTM LK ultra-low permittivity porous spin-on dielectric that uses a unique and novel pore-forming technology. This breakthrough marks Shipley's entry into the spin-on dielectric market and targets integrated circuit device technology nodes at, or below, the k values attainable with conventional CVD and spin-on organic products.
Today, integrated circuit designers are packing features closer together on tiny semiconductor chips in order to meet the relentless demand for more powerful internet devices and networking equipment. Within these tight spaces, low-k dielectric insulating material becomes essential to keep electrical signals in these tightly packed circuits from interfering with each other and limiting the overall performance of the chip. The Zirkon LK Series of spin-on dielectrics uses proprietary technology to offer an extendable solution to these challenges for today's devices, and those of the future.

Shipley's new technology incorporates nanometer-sized polymeric spheres within an ultra-low metal-ion content silsesquioxane spin-on matrix. Upon simple thermal processing, the NanogenTM pore-forming dielectric polymer disappears, leaving nanoscopic air-filled spaces, or AircellTM dielectric films. The Zirkon dielectrics are better than existing solvent-based or gaseous-reaction methods for making dielectrics because the Zirkon porosity remains unconnected and does not agglomerate during further processing.

The fully cured Zirkon dielectric film is produced without the need for complex processes, or hazardous ammonia treatments. It is unique in allowing the formation of precisely defined levels of uniformly distributed and unconnected Aircell porosity. This allows repeatable control of film permittivity (k value) from 2.6 to below 2.0 on standard low-k dielectric spin coating equipment. Shipley has engineered the Nanogen polymer within Zirkon LK dielectrics to precisely define the resulting pore size during manufacture and has demonstrated Aircell dielectric films with pore sizes of less than 5nm, or below 1/20th the size of current interconnect structures, to ensure reliable device integration.

'This marks an important point in Shipley's history where we have utilized technical strengths throughout the corporation to develop materials critical to the advancement of IC device performance outside our core thrust in photolithography,' said Stephen Robinson, President of Shipley Microelectronics.

'The Zirkon dielectric materials have exceeded our original design expectations, and have generated significant enthusiasm with customers who have seen their properties and performance,' commented Eric Alling, Low-k Business Director for Shipley. 'We are confident Zirkon LK dielectric products will become well established in the world market given that they eliminate many of the compromises required by existing low-k dielectric approaches,' Alling continued.

The launch of the Zirkon LK products complements Shipley and Rodel's MOSAICTM product line in which Shipley and Rodel offer a full range of products designed to meet the needs for state of the art copper dual damascene processes.
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