skip to main content

Surface Textures of Chamber Parts Can Boost Tool Output and Availability

John Mangini

Given the many issues involved in semiconductor manufacturing, it’s easy to overlook the small things that can make a big contribution to operational excellence—things like the surface textures of your chamber process kit parts. But advanced surface technology, available as an option within Applied Materials service agreements, can significantly increase the availability of Applied Materials Endura tools while reducing overall cost of ownership (COO).

As semiconductor manufacturing technology evolves, particle limits and sizes are constantly reduced to meet production yield targets. Usually this requires more frequent maintenance, including process kit changes, to maintain acceptable particle levels, resulting in more chamber downtime, reduced tool availability, and increased COO.

Applied Materials LavaCoat2 process kit parts can improve chamber particle performance and device yield, increasing tool output and availability. LavaCoat2 is a proprietary surface-preparation technology that texturizes parts (see figure 1) so that deposited films adhere to their surfaces more readily than to surfaces texturized by other methods, such as grit-blasting and twin-wire arc spraying (TWAS).

Figure 1. An option within Applied Materials service agreements, LavaCoat2 surface technology can be applied to any process kit part in nearly infinite texture patterns, and can be optimized across multiple parts to meet the specific needs of an application. This figure shows two surfaces with different LavaCoat2 textures, along with models of their different structures.

While traditional process kit textures such as TWAS provide standard roughness and adhesion of deposited film, LavaCoat2 is an engineered texture that provides greater tensile strength, resulting in reduced particle levels and longer process kit life.

LavaCoat2 replacement parts can lengthen the mean time between cleans (MTBC) by up to 2x and help lower defect densities in the chamber by up to 50%. This can significantly boost output and yield.

At one site, a LavaCoat2 deposition ring delivered significantly lower particle performance for a customer’s Applied Materials EnCoRe II Ta(N) chamber. Particles >0.06μm in size were reduced by 90% when compared with a conventional TWAS deposition ring.

Figure 2 shows how LavaCoat2 replacement parts eliminated particle spiking and reduced the overall baseline of defects in an Applied Materials TxZ (CVD TiN) chamber that had been using standard textured parts.

Figure 2. The graph shows defect levels in an Applied Materials TxZ chamber. At left is the defect performance with standard-texture chamber parts, and at right with LavaCoat2 replacement parts. The LavaCoat2 parts kit eliminated particle spiking and reduced the overall baseline of defects, resulting in a 50% increase in kit life and an increase of as much as 3% in tool availability.

MORE TOOL OUTPUT

Applied Materials Total Kit Management (TKM) programs provide customers worldwide with a turnkey offering that encompasses spares, cleaning and coating, and logistics services for e˜fficient management of their inventories of process kits and components. The program offers a kit-management solution that includes genuine spare parts, cleaning and coating specifications, and advanced textures. When combined with Applied Materials services, the TKM program can help customers further optimize tool performance and overall factory operations.

LavaCoat2 replacement parts are the latest service enhancement from Applied’s Surface Technology Group. This engineering team is dedicated to driving continuous improvements in parts to support Applied’s tool-specific performance commitments to its customers with service contracts.

For additional information, contact john_mangini@amat.com.