At the SPIE Advanced Lithography conference, 12-16 February in San Jose, CA, Imec announced the successful implementation of the world's first 300mm fab-compatible Directed Self-Assembly (DSA) process line all under one roof in imec's 300mm cleanroom fab. The upgrade of an academic lab-scale DSA process flow to a fab-compatible flow was realized in collaboration with the University of Wisconsin, AZ Electronic Materials and Tokyo Electron Ltd. Imec's DSA collaboration aims to address the critical hurdles to take DSA from the academic lab-scale environment into high-volume manufacturing.
Directed Self-Assembly (DSA) is gaining momentum as a means for extending optical lithography beyond its current limits. DSA is an alternative patterning technology that enables frequency multiplication through the use of block copolymers. When used in conjunction with an appropriate pre-pattern that directs the orientation for patterning, DSA can reduce the pitch of the final printed structure. Moreover, DSA can be used to repair defects and repair uniformity in the original print. This repair feature is especially useful in combination with EUV lithography, which today is characterized by local variation in the CD (critical dimension), especially in case of small contacts.