AMEC'S Industry-first Semiconductor Processing Tool Integrates Dielectric Etch and Photoresist Strip Chambers onto Same Platform

SHANGHAI and SAN FRANCISCO -- Advanced Micro-Fabrication Equipment Inc. (AMEC) today introduced the Primo Integrated Dual-Station Etch and plasma downstream Asher ( Primo iDEA™), an industry-first semiconductor processing tool that integrates dual-station dielectric etch and photoresist strip chambers onto the same platform. Targeted for 2xnm and below etch applications, the Primo iDEA leverages AMEC's proven D-RIE etch technology and the Primo platform to reduce the risk of plasma-induced damage (PID), improve process flexibility, lower COO, improve productivity and optimize valuable fab space.

Devices being manufactured using 2xnm and smaller etch applications run an increased risk of building up surface charges that can result in plasma induced device damage (PID). The Primo iDEA incorporates four dielectric etch stations and two strip stations into a single system. It replaces four tools: two dielectric etchers, a resist stripper and a wet cleaning station. AMEC's unique integrative approach enables the optimization of each process step to improve overall PID performance. It significantly increases throughput, reduces processing cost and minimizes equipment foot print. With dedicated dielectric etch and downstream ashing (DSA) capabilities, the new offering is optimal for FEOL and BEOL applications involved in volume-producing complex, extremely small devices that are highly sensitive to manufacturing stresses.

"The Primo iDEA is currently deployed at two customer production facilities where it has demonstrated improved PID performance, while also reducing the number of process tools required," said Steve Mak, Vice President and GM of the CCP Etch Product Group at AMEC. "With the new tool, customers can achieve 20 percent CoO savings and much-improved productivity. For one particular BEOL application, the customer was able to reduce five process steps using separate tools, to three steps in one tool. This reduced overall process time for that application by 50 percent."

AMEC first revealed its proprietary decoupled reactive ion etch (DRIE) technology in 2004. Featuring a very high RF frequency plasma source and low RF frequency bias all-bottom electrode powered configuration, the technology delivers independent ion density and energy control, and ensures high repeatability in production environments. When coupled with AMEC's proprietary plasma confinement technology, process stability is improved and a wider process window is enabled.

The downstream asher design used in the Primo iDEA employs a cost-effective dual-chamber concept and remote plasma source (RPS). The RPS is mounted on top of the DSA, enabling reactive species to be delivered to the wafer surface without direct exposure to the plasma source. This helps minimize the risk of PID.

For more information about the Primo iDEA or other AMEC tools, visit

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