Lam Research Enables Next-Generation Memory with Industry's First ALD Process for Low-Fluorine Tungsten Fill
"Consumer demand for ever more powerful devices is driving the need for high-capacity, high-performance storage, and deposition and etch are key process technology enablers of advanced memory chips," said
As manufacturers increase the number of memory cell layers for 3D NAND, two issues have become apparent for tungsten deposition in the word line fill application. First, fluorine diffusion from the tungsten film into the dielectrics can cause physical defects. Second, higher cumulative stress in devices with more than 48 pairs has resulted in excessive bowing. The resulting defects and stress can cause yield loss, as well as degraded electrical performance and device reliability. Because of these issues, tungsten films for advanced 3D NAND devices must have significantly reduced fluorine and intrinsic stress. Further, as critical dimensions shrink, resistance scaling becomes more challenging for the DRAM buried word line, as well as for metal gate/metal contact applications in logic devices.
"As memory chip manufacturers move to smaller nodes, the features that need to be filled are increasingly narrow and have higher aspect ratios," said
The ALTUS Max E Series with LFW ALD technology offers a unique all-ALD deposition process that leverages Lam's PNL® (Pulsed Nucleation Layer) technology, which is the industry benchmark for tungsten ALD with 15 years of market leadership and more than 1,000 modules in production. Lam led the transition of chemical vapor deposition (CVD) tungsten nucleation to ALD tungsten nucleation with its PNL technology. The company continued that leadership by advancing low-resistivity tungsten solutions with its products ALTUS® Max with PNLxT™, ALTUS® Max with LRWxT™, and ALTUS® Max ExtremeFill™ for enhanced fill performance.
The ALTUS products use Lam's quad-station module (QSM) architecture to allow per-station optimization of tungsten nucleation and fill for fluorine, stress, and resistance without compromising fill performance since station temperature can be set independently. The QSM configuration also maximizes productivity of the all-ALD process by providing up to 12 pedestals per system, enabling the highest footprint productivity in the industry.
Caution Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
Statements made in this press release that are not of historical fact are forward-looking statements and are subject to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such forward-looking statements relate to, but are not limited to, statements concerning the challenges faced by memory chipmakers, the challenges for scaling 3D NAND, logic and DRAM, the need to use reduced fluorine and intrinsic stress to address word line fill application issues, the ability of Lam's products to meet customer challenges successfully, the performance of the ALTUS Max E Series compared to the CVD products, and the market success or market share gains of Lam's products or technology. Some important factors that may affect these forward-looking statements include advances in technology, new products and services offered by Lam's competitors, known and unknown
barriers to technical progress and the financial condition of semiconductor manufacturers and the economy as a whole. Such forward-looking statements are based on current beliefs and expectations and are subject to risks, uncertainties and changes in condition, significance, value and effect, including those discussed in Lam's annual report on Form 10-K under the heading "Risk Factors" as well as in other documents filed by Lam with the
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