CEA-Leti, an electronics technology research institute based in Grenoble, France, has signed a joint development agreement (JDA) with Nanoplas, a supplier of plasma semiconductor processing equipment, to extend Nanoplas's Atomic Layer Downstream Etching (ALDE) process tool to applications in 14-nm dry-etching, stripping and cleaning.
Nanoplas (St-Égrève, France) said the JDA would focus on making sure that the ALDE system is fully characterized and qualified in 14-nm manufacturing processes. Nanoplas plans to deliver an ALDE tool to the CEA-Leti Silicon Technology Division in the second quarter of 2014.
Laurent Malier, CEO of CEA-Leti, said through a statement that the ALDE system offers "unique performance in etching the many critical silicon-nitride spacer films in advanced transistor-formation technologies."
Mailer said CEA-Leti engineers would not only fully qualify the ALDE system for 14-nm, but also "help to expand the range of applications in which the ALDE technology can be used, including etching, stripping and cleaning at the 14-nm node and well beyond."
Nanoplas also announced a second purchase of an ALDE process module for extreme selectivity dielectric dry-etching by an unnamed customer in Asia. The new ALDE order will enable the replacement of H3PO4 wet etch with extremely selective isotropic Si3N4 dry etch in a 14-nm pilot line, Nanoplas said.
"We are very encouraged by this sale, in which Nanoplas offers an OEM customer a unique dry process solution to replace wet processing," said Gilles Baujon, Nanoplas CEO, in a statement. Baujon said Nanoplas expects a massive shift from wet to dry etch at the 14-nm node due to costs, performance and safety. "By addressing all these challenges and targeting a range of applications, we expect ALDE to play a significant role in this shift," Baujon said.
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