Lund, Sweden /PRNewswire/ - AlixLabs from Lund, Sweden, demonstrates pitch splitting in bulk silicon using their proprietary patterning technology for semiconductor device manufacturing. The company has developed a new, innovative method for manufacturing semiconductor components with a high degree of packing, eliminating several steps in the semiconductor manufacturing process - Atomic Layer Etch Pitch Splitting (APS)*. The method makes the components cheaper and less resource-intensive to manufacture and can open up a new path for a more sustainable mass production of electronic products. The method also makes it possible to manufacture tiny semiconductor components accurately and efficiently with manageable wafer fab equipment investments.
As a snapshot of the process flow for APS demonstration in bulk silicon (see Figure below):
- The first feature with Aspect Ratio 1:1 was given before APS with a 40 nm (top width)
- The second feature produced by APS is the split of the silicon feature into two fins <10 nm (top width)
- No damage to the single crystalline silicon, Si(100), was observed.
- AFM data indicate lower surface roughness post-APS.
The method is covered by core IP in the USA, Taiwan, and Europe. Dr. Dmitry Suyatin, CTO and co-founder of AlixLabs, stated,, "In APS, the sidewalls of nanoscale features act as a topological mask in combination with Atomic Layer Etch Processes and can be used to initiate splitting of the nanostructures. Previously we have verified the process for nanowires for such different materials as gallium phosphide (GaP) and Silicon (Si), and now we have the evidence also for bulk silicon, by creating features with sizes below 10 nm."
Dr. Jonas Sundqvist, CEO and co-founder, said, "The APS method is complementary for single exposure Immersion and Extreme UV (EUV) Lithography and corresponding multiple patterning technologies like self-aligned double and quadruple patterning (SADP resp. SAQP) as well as multiple exposure lithography-etch and directed self-assembly (DSA). However, APS can considerably reduce the complexity, capital expenditure, and environmental footprint of wafer manufacturing. Demonstrating pitch splitting in bulk silicon by creating sub-10 nm structures has been a major milestone for AlixLabs. We will continue the introduction of this breakthrough technology into wafer-scale semiconductor manufacturing and have already started the process transfer to a 300 mm Pilot-fab."
* Atomic Layer Etch Pitch Splitting (APS). As previously reported (April 30, 2021), The US Patent Office has approved AlixLabs's patent application for nanofabrication by ALE Pitch Splitting (APS). The US Patent Office issued a patent (US10930515) on February 23, 2021, and recently the second patent (US11424130) on August 23, 2022. Additional patents in Taiwan and Europe are secured as well. The patent family covers methods to split nanostructures in half by a single process step using Atomic Layer Etching (ALE). The method can have a significant impact on the semiconductor industry by enabling sustainable scaling of electronic components and shrinking critical chip components further in a cost-effective way. The method is complementary for single exposure Immersion and Extreme UV (EUV) Lithography and corresponding multiple patterning technologies like self-aligned double and quadruple patterning (SADP resp. SAQP) as well as multiple exposure lithography-etch and directed self-assembly (DSA).