Troy, N.Y. Researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and Polyset Company have developed a new inexpensive, quick-drying polymer that could lead to dramatic cost savings and efficiency gains in semiconductor manufacturing and computer chip packaging.
Along with allowing enhanced performance and cost savings for conventional photolithography processes, the new material, called polyset epoxy siloxane (PES), should also enable a new generation of lower-cost, on-chip nanoimprinting lithography technology, according to the researchers.
With this new material, chip manufacturers will be able to trim several steps from their production and packaging processes, and in turn realize a cost savings, said Toh-Ming Lu, the R.P. Baker Distinguished Professor of Physics at Rensselaer, who oversaw the study. PES is cheaper and more reliable.
Lus research was published this week in the Journal of Vacuum Science and Technology B.
The widely adopted technique of photolithography involves using a mix of light and chemicals to generate intricate micro- and nano-scale patterns on tiny areas of silicon. As part of the process, a thin polymer film called a redistribution layer, and crucial to the effectiveness of device is deposited onto the silicon wafer, in order to ease the signal propagation delay and to protect the chip from different environmental and mechanical factors.
The new PES material developed by Lus group and Polyset Company is one such thin polymer film, and it offers several advantages over the incumbent materials typically used in the semiconductor manufacturing industry. In addition, their new PES material can also be used as a thin polymer film for ultraviolet (UV) on-chip nanoimprinting lithography technology, which is still in the early phases of development. The consistency of using PES in conventional technology, and then continuing to use PES while academia and industry test and graduall
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Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute