Producer® Precision® APF® PECVD

The Applied Producer Precision APF PECVD system produces a family of strippable amorphous carbon hard mask films for critical patterning steps.

Running at virtually every advanced DRAMNAND flash, and logic manufacturing site, the system produces the industry's first commercially available PECVD ashable amorphous carbon film for patterning. Industry-leading APF is one of the enabling films in multi-patterning integration for scaling standard ArF lithography beyond its physical limitations and patterning high aspect ratio (HAR) features. As applications have proliferated, APF has evolved from one film into a family of specialized films.

The latest addition to the family, Stensar APF extends these advanced hard mask films to most leading-edge technologies. Other members of the APF family serve specialty applications in the IoT, communications, automotive, power, and sensor (ICAPS) markets.

Low-stress Stensar APF meets the extreme hard mask requirements for 2nm logic, particularly ultra-low defectivity. More selective than spin-on films, its low deposition rates facilitate decreasing overall stack thickness and hence reduce line edge roughness (LER) and line width roughness, both significant patterning challenges at the 2nm node. Stensar enables the full range of SADP/SAQP and EUVL schemes, and HAR feature etch applications at the leading edge of semiconductor technology. Surface engineering aids seamless integration in these challenging processes.

Reduced film outgassing sustains a cleaner chamber environment for longer uptime, that extends mean time between cleans. The Producer Precision system makes it possible to tune the etch selectivity of the hard mask and maintains excellent process performance.

Saphira APF is a transparent, highly selective, low-stress hard mask that enables continued feature scaling. Its ease of integration and simplified process flow reduce patterning complexity.

Building on APF's excellent etch selectivity and LER, APFe enables deposition of thicker layers than APF (e.g., in capacitor formation and metal contacts for memory devices), while maintaining the alignment transparency necessary for etching HAR vias.

Widely adopted as a patterning film for small features and HAR structures, APF offers superior etch selectivity and less LER than traditional photoresist (PR). With its PR-like ashability, it can be readily integrated into process flows. Used alone or in conjunction with Applied Materials' DARC (Dielectric Anti-Reflective Coating) film, this cost-effective, litho-enabling film offers high etch selectivity for polysilicon, nitride, and oxide; excellent CD control; and less LER.

Producer Precision APF PECVD