- USA (IPC)
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Personal or laboratory research profile:
Lam Research makes HVM (high volume manufactoring) equipment for semiconductors. In addition to etch, strip, clean, CVD, PECVD, we make ALD and plasma ALD equipment. Significant focus is being put toward developing equipment for SiO2, Si3N4, and SiC ALD. Worth noting is that for each single layer of hi-k film used in sub-28nm devices between 10 and 20 layers of silicon based "lowerish-k" ALD films are used! Also of note is that these films ideally should be deposited at <400C.
My focus is on silicon dielectric ALD which necessitates the use of plasma at low temperatures. SiO2 ALD is relatively mature and most of the work here is focused on manufacturability, Si3N4 is a little trickier with several processes to choose from but all have their shortcomings; we're working on improving the density/reducing the H-content of NH3 plasma films and on improving the conformality of N2 plasma based films. SiC is a "holy-grail" project as it has never been done (to my knowledge) in the low temperature range of interest. We do a lot of precursor screening and plasma development work here in addition to traditional process development.
I'm a chemist by training working, so my focus is almost always on the mechanism of things and how molecules interact with each other and with surfaces.