Hitachi Chemical Co., Ltd. has recently developed a high-performance CMP slurry product for STI (Shallow Trench Isolation) that can decrease scratches from polishing by two-thirds and provide a twofold increase of surface flatness over existing products. The company has decided to launch the new product in full-scale production and sales starting January 2005.
Chemical mechanical planarization (CMP) is a technology for polishing and smoothing uneven surfaces generated in the element isolation and circuit forming processes for semiconductors. CMP slurry is a type of polishing solution used for this application. Shallow Trench Isolation (STI) is one of the element isolation methods that electrically isolate the millions of semiconductor devices on a silicon wafer from each other. STI has become the major method when a design rule around 180 nanometers has prevailed because it is suitable for finer wiring, but it requires planarization with CMP because it causes differences in level in the circuit forming process. As polishing scratches caused by CMP aggravate process yields, however, they must be further reduced to develop design rules for finer wiring of 110 nanometers, 90 nanometers, etc.
To meet these needs, the company has recently developed a high-performance CMP slurry product that is capable of achieving a two-thirds decrease in polishing scratches and a twofold increase in flatness over the existing levels in the CMP process while maintaining the current polishing speed. We produced a CMP slurry product that adopted cerium oxide (CeO2) particles in 1998 and gained a high reputation for products for STI that required the highest flatness with fewer polishing scratches and faster polishing speeds as their advantage. This high-performance development decreases the size of cerium oxide (CeO2) particles by up to 60 % compared to those of existing products. We will launch full-scale sales activities of this product in January 2005 after establishing a system for mass production of 600 tons per annum at Yamazaki Works (Katsuta) (in Hitachinaka-shi, Ibaraki). With an investment that amounts to about one billion yen, we will construct new extension building, etc. with a view to further business expansion in the future, in addition to the installation of powder crushing machines for cerium oxide particles.
For more information on CeO2, click here.