Intel, Samsung and Applied Materials have joined together to put money into materials startup Inpria Corp. (Corvallis. Oregon), which is developing photocondensed molecular oxides that can be used as photoresists at sub 20nm manufacturing nodes.
Inpria, a spin-off from Oregon State Univeristy, was founded in 2007 and has announced it has received $4.75 million out of a promised $7.3 million in financing. The round was led by Samsung Venture Investment Corp. with "significant participation" from Intel Capital. Existing investor Applied Ventures, the venture capital arm of chip manufacturing equipment company Applied Materials, also participated in the round of equity financing.
With attention turning to the necessary R&D for the 10nm production node and a focus on extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography, Inpria's patented inorganic photoresists provide the ability to deposit – directly from solution – intrinsically dense, atomically smooth, and directly photopatternable metal oxide films.
The company claims of to have set records in in resolution, linewidth roughness (LWR) and etch selectivity, and that its materials are suited to both EUV and to other emerging semiconductor patterning technologies. The company did not elaborate whether this applies to one or more than one of e-beam, imprint or self-assembly techniques.
"By imaging 8-nm lines and spaces with 1.5-nm LWR in a robust patternable oxide, we have established a new standard for advanced photoresist towards near-term industry requirements," said Andrew Grenville, CEO and co-founder of Inpria, in statement.
Dong-Su Kim, vice president at Samsung Venture Investment Corp., said: "We look forward to Inpria completing their EUV photoresist product development." Eileen Tanghal, general manager of Applied Ventures, added: "We believe Inpria's novel electronic materials could potentially drive significant improvements in the semiconductor industry."
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