Evonik and BASF to Co-Develop Ceria-Based Slurries for Computer Chips

Evonik Industries AG and BASF have agreed to collaborate on the development of ceria-based slurries for fabricating computer chips. The agreement will leverage BASF’s chemical expertise, global marketing and distribution capabilities with Evonik´s leading position in nanomaterials. The resulting slurries are expected to be commercialized in 2009.

Slurries containing nanoscale materials such as ceria are used to polish the silicon dioxide surfaces of wafers to produce highly planar surfaces in a process known as chemical-mechanical polishing, or CMP. The most important processing steps of integrated circuit (IC) fabrication are STI (shallow trench isolation), one of the fastest growing applications requiring CMP slurries, and ILD (inter-layer dielectric).

“With the introduction of smaller node sizes, the requirements of the CMP process have become increasingly critical to IC fabrication. Evonik and BASF believe that this project will enable both parties to stay ahead in the CMP technology and provide next generation solutions and materials for the IC industry,” said Dr. Iordanis Savvopoulos, Vice President Technology Solutions in Evonik´s Business Unit Inorganic Materials.

“Chemistry plays an important role in the development of IC products. Combining BASF’s extensive background in chemistry and long years of experience in the IC industry with the expertise of Evonik in abrasive particles, we can provide intelligent solutions that meet the increasingly stringent requirements in the market,” said Dr. Klemens Mathauer, head of CMP business of BASF’s global business unit Electronic Materials.

Evonik´s contribution to the joint development includes various grades of cerium oxide as important fundamental components and formulation know-how for these particles. BASF will contribute its CMP slurry formulation chemistry, production and application know-how, backed by its high-tech laboratories in Europe and Asia.

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