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AZ Electronic Materials was acquired by Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, a leading company for innovative and top-quality high-tech products in the pharmaceutical, chemical and life science sectors. In the United States and Canada the subsidiaries of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany operate under the umbrella brand EMD.


PHPS (Perhydropolysilazane) Improves Wafer Cost and Performance

Perhydropolysilazane or PHPS can provide optimum gap-filling properties and higher production yields at a lower total cost of ownership than CVD-type deposition tools. The following explains how PHPS purity and insular properties are helping semiconductor manufacturers optimize dielectric performance without compromising the bottom line.


Properties of Cured Films

ApplicationCuring ConditionsFilm ShrinkageThickness Uniformity (1σ)Refractive IndexFilm Stress (+Comp. -Tens)Relative WER*1Breakdown VoltageLeakage Current*2Dielectri Constant*3Hardness*4Modulus*4
IMD/PMD400°C-16%<1.0%1.45-220 MPa2.3>7 MV/cm<1.E-8 A/cm25.3(5.4)--
450°C-17%<1.0%1.44-210 MPa2.2>7 MV/cm<1.E-8 A/cm25.0(5.1)6.755
500°C-17%<1.0%1.44-230 MPa2.1>7 MV/cm<1.E-8 A/cm24.6(4.7)8.364
PMD/STI600°C-17%<1.0%1.43-180 MPa1.9>7 MV/cm<1.E-9 A/cm24.6(4.7)8.872
700°C-17%<1.0%1.43-130 MPa1.8>7 MV/cm<1.E-9 A/cm24.3(4.3)9.574
800°C-18%<1.0%1.4420 MPa1.5>7 MV/cm<1.E-9 A/cm24.0(4.0)9.574
900°C-18%<1.0%1.45100 MPa1.3>7 MV/cm<1.E-9 A/cm24.0(4.0)9.974
1000°C-18%<1.0%1.45150 MPa1.0>7 MV/cm<1.E-9 A/cm24.0(4.0)10.073

*1: Relative wet etching rate to thermal oxidized SiO2 (100Å/min, Etchant: 1:100 BHF)

*2: Value in applied 1MV/cm

*3: Calculated from C-V curves at 1MHz. Capacitor structure: Hg-prove / Polysilazane film / n-Si, ( ) ; 3 months after curing

*4: Measured with Nano-indentor

What is PHPS and why is it becoming popular for integrated circuit (IC) manufacturing? 

PHPS is a polymer composed of the purest Silicon and Nitrogen (Silazane), the combination of which enables better insular properties as electronics continue to become smaller in size. Polysilazane is particularly effective in front end process (FEOL), including pre metal dielectric (PMD) and shallow trench isolation (STI), for its electrical insulation, heat stability and film planarity properties. In addition to the above application, PHPS can be also used for many coating area for protection of surface and it is easy to clean coating.

PHPS is a Poly (perhydrosilazane)-(SiH2NH) based inorganic Spin-on Dielectrics (SOD) material designed by EMD Performance Materials. It is marketed under the name AZ® Spinfil® and widely used by memory logic devices manufacturing.

How does PHPS improve the quality and yield of wafers? 

PHPS-based Spin-on Dielectrics (SOD) material can improve the quality and production yield of wafers in three key areas:

  1. Good etch resistance
    PHPS becomes pure SiO2 after curing with the carbons only existing in solvent and not in the polymer giving it similar dielectric properties as CVD-type SiO2 film. 
  2. Reduced shrinkage compared to Sol-gel
    Studies indicate that PHPS actually increases in weight during the curing process compared to the weight reduction that results as Sol-gel cures. This will provide less stress to the wafer and enable the addition of more complex logic. 
  3. Good planarization and filling properties
    PHPS, with its low viscosity and low surface tension, significantly improves gap filling property to small feature size than the CVD type process. It also provides greater throughput than the CVD tools reducing tool investment cost.
Recommended Process for Spinfil

Application Advantages of PHPS

NAND flash memory, DRAM and logic devices including microprocessors are ideal applications for PHPS. As the trend continues toward smaller, thinner electronic devices, PHPS is enabling electronics manufacturers greater opportunity to innovate while also balancing cost targets. In fact, there are no confirmed limitations with PHPS for the gap filling even as low as a 10nm gap.

Using PHPS eliminates the upfront equipment investment required for CVD technology. When you consider the extremely high output that results from PHPS, the low total cost of ownership is equally as appealing as its innovation capabilities. This combination of properties makes PHPS the industry-standard material for FEOL gapfilling applications in advanced device manufacturing.

Learn how PHPS and AZ Spinfil can help you improve wafer quality and production yield.

EMD Performance Materials also provides ancillary chemicals exclusive for AZ® Spinfil® SOD Series.