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Tech Emergent

From supercritical CO2 cleaning to immersion lithography, dozens of new processes, materials, and control strategies are poised to enter current and next-generation production. This series showcases contributed articles from those working on the front lines of advanced development.

Filling contacts using a pulsed nucleation layer of tungsten nitride

Fab experiments show that filling contacts using a pulsed nucleation layer of WN in conjunction with tungsten results in better electrical performance and higher yields than the use of Ti/TiN film stacks. (October/November 2005)

Formulating materials that are compatible with high-performance immersion lithography

Extraction and performance testing of various resist formulations, with and without topcoats, has revealed promising candidates for moving immersion processing into the production line. (July 2005)

Using a real-time, point-of-use sensor to control liquid-chemical concentration

Case studies focusing on the areas of wafer-surface preparation
and BEOL processes explore the use of a liquid-chemical-concentration sensor that is based on a miniaturized optical reflectivity device.
(May 2005)

Implementing a batch atomic layer deposition approach for advanced DRAM dielectrics

Fab research shows that a hafnium/silicon precursor deposited using a batch ALD system ensures film-thickness uniformity at high troughput while decreasing chemical consumption. (March 2005)

Combining thermal waves and a signal-processing algorithm to characterize USJs

Tests show that a thermal-wave-based method can perform quantitative, simultaneous characterization of USJ depth and abruptness with one nondestructive measurement. (August/September 2004)

Measuring Young's modulus of low-k dielectrics using surface acoustic waves
A rapid, nondestructive technique can be used to characterize the stiffness of thin films, map coated-wafer contours, and detect the elastic anisotropy of porous dielectric materials.
(June 2004)

Investigating the impact of backside defect inspection on process development and yields
Fab data show how an inspection tool based on dark-field imaging detects backside defects, which can cause frontside focus spots and flatnessomonitoring-tool errors in steppers and scanners.
(April 2004)

Developing supercritical carbon dioxide processing in microelectronics applications
Experiments show that supercritical CO2 is an effective alternative to aqueous-based solvents for removing residues in copper damascene and potash breakthrough processes.
(January/February 2004)

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