Berlin, 21.09.2016

CNR-IMM Italy uses SI PEALD LL for new high-k materials

The Institute for Microelectronics and Microsystems (CNR-IMM/1/) in Catania, Italy is using a SI PEALD LL tool with an 8-inch wafer configuration. The research institute belongs to the Physics and Matter Technologies Department (DSFTM) of the National Reseach Council of Italy (CNR), and has its headquarters in Catania. The integration of novel high-k gate dielectrics and passivating layers on devices based on Gallium Nitride and other wide band gap semiconductors is investigated using SENTECH PEALD tool. SENTECH proprietary true remote CCP plasma source is especially suited for such low temperature and no damage applications. The special design of the plasma source only allows radicals to reach the wafer surface. High energy photons and ions are completely blocked.

(The picture below shows the SI PEALD LL at CNR-IMM)


The IMM is part of the Physics and Matter Technologies Department of the CNR, it`s headquarter and the University are located in Catania. Research activities are focused on innovative solutions for micro and nanoelectronics, advanced materials and processes for smart components, optoelectronics and photonics, sensors as well as multifunctional micro- and nanosystems.

Contextually, IMM and SENTECH have signed a Joint Development Agreement with the objective of the development and characterization of laminated layers. The use of alternative high-k materials favors downsizing of the devices while keeping constant their capacitance values and reducing the leakage current density. In particular, the growth of Al2O3-HfO2 laminated layers is among the most often used combinations for such applications.

”The SENTECH SI PEALD LL reactor is a high performance and flexible system, allowing the production of several high quality dielectric thin films, whose physical properties can be tailored upon changing their chemical composition.”, says Dr Raffaella Lo Nigro who is the scientist in charge of the PEALD tool and of cooperation with SENTECH. Dr Lo Nigro has wide ranging expertise in the synthesis of binary and complex thin films by chemical vapor deposition methods for several microelectronic applications. “Possible applications of this activity” - continues Dr Lo Nigro – “are related not only to the integration of novel gate dielectrics and passivating layers on wide band gap semiconductors, but also for RF devices based on graphene”.

The results of this work have been already published in scientific papers /2/. Nanolaminated Al2O3-HfO2 and Al2O3/HfO2 bilayer thin films have been grown by plasma enhanced atomic layer deposition on silicon substrates. Morphological, crystalline, and electrical properties of the layer stacks were analyzed after low temperature deposition and high thermal treatment. The highly stable deposition of single films and multilayer laminates using SENTECH PEALD together with the very good uniformity of the deposition process over the whole wafer size are essential prerequisites for applications like designing new high-k dielectrics.

SENTECH is very proud that our innovative PEALD solution is helping CNR-IMM team in Catania to improve its research activities. We are looking forward to deepen this partnership in the future. We are very confident that our high efficient ALD technologies will conquer the European market further on. If you are interested in the SENTECH PEALD technologies please contact us here.

/1/ National Research Council – Institute for Microelectronics and Microsystems
/2/ Raffaella Lo Nigro, Emanuela Schilirò, Giuseppe Greco, Patrick Fiorenza, Fabrizio Roccaforte, Thin Solid Films, 601, 2016, 68-72