“Future scaling of copper interconnects depends on finding a reliable, cost-effective way to deposit barrier and seed layers below 45nm,” stated Steve Ghanayem, vice president and general manager of Applied Materials’ Metal Deposition and Front End Products Business Unit. “The Endura CuBS RFX PVD system enables customers to extend their existing process flows for another two device generations with robust, production-proven PVD technology, and avoid risk to their production lines that unproven and costly new integration schemes could present.”

Effective barrier and seed layer deposition is critical to assuring the speed and reliability of copper interconnects, since it prevents copper diffusion and offers a quality nucleation layer for subsequent bulk copper fill. Key to the new Endura CuBS RFX system’s high performance is its new EnCoRe II RFX Cu seed process chamber. Employing a novel magnetron trajectory and a proprietary ion flux control system to improve film coverage and morphology, the process delivers smooth, continuous seed layers for void-free copper gap fill and optimized device reliability.

Applied Materials’ new Endura CuBS PVD system, introduced in 1997, enabled a key leap forward in barrier/seed deposition capability by combining the complete sequence on a single, high-vacuum platform. With almost 500 copper barrier/seed systems in use by the vast majority of copper chip manufacturers worldwide, Applied has demonstrated its ability to extend cost-effective PVD technology over multiple technology generations.

Applied Materials is a US-based provider of Nanomanufacturing Technology solutions.