Atotech opens a new Nanotechnology Laboratory
at Case Western Reserve University, in Cleveland, USA

Multiple research and development agreements have been signed by Atotech and Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) for the support and enhancement of Atotech's global metallization technology development and, -material science and application failure analysis activities in Europe, Asia and the USA.

The established agreements with the department of Materials Science and Engineering as well as with the Institute of Advanced Materials will further strengthen Atotech's chemistry and analytical capabilities. Atotech's potential is catalyzed by the 16 global technology centers of which includes the semiconductor chemistry R&D and application center at the College of Nano-scale Science and Engineering (CNSE) in Albany, New York. Each technology center site is responsible for supporting local and international development and optimization activities of plating chemistries for tailored regional processes and applications. The department of Materials Science and Engineering at Case Western Reserve University sustains the ability to support nano-scale inspections, as well as failure and property analysis of which includes trace element analytics through the use of high resolution instruments.

The collaborative agreement includes the establishment of an organic chemistry laboratory dedicated to the support of new plating additive development specialized for small scale feature size plating. The laboratory will further enable and enhance Atotech's semiconductor R&D activities, which focus primarily on the optimization of copper plating process solutions using advanced polymers for structures down to the 22 nm node. Additional research is being performed on plating process development for sub- 22 nm node structures.

The new organic laboratory focuses on the physical treatment of existing organic polymers as well as on the development of new polymers. These organic additives play a major role in defect-free bottom-up fill technologies of copper Damascene structures, which are critical for the chip's wiring from M1 to up to Mx copper layers. These polymers must be optimized to fulfill the requirements for scaled barrier liner seed layers or for direct plating on liner layers in advanced structures.

Wide process windows are needed to plate semiconductor metal structures in various types of equipment, especially when dealing with a vast range of structure sizes from the nano-scale to the micro-scale. The same plating bath chemistry must perform uniformly across the wafer. As structures are sensitive to contamination, leading to a risk of yield losses or reliability exposures, the target is to achieve low incorporation levels of organics or organic by- products. Minimizing the consumption rate over the throughput in an ECD plating tool is also a goal.

Atotech's Vice President of Semiconductor Technology, Robert Preisser, stated after the signing of the contracts that he is very pleased with the new agreements between Case Western Reserve University and Atotech. "This new collaboration addresses open activities that will support R&D for nano scale metallization chemistry and process development. This collaboration is a strategic continuation of the existing cooperation between Electrochemical Research group at Case Western Reserve's department of Chemical Engineering and Atotech". Professor Uziel Landau, Chair of the Chemical Engineering Department and a long-time research collaborator of Atotech states that he is delighted with the progress made so far under the sponsorship of Atotech in advancing the state of interconnect plating technology and looks forward to the enhanced collaboration. Case Western Reserve University is a leading private research institution, located in Cleveland, OH. Its leading-edge faculty is internationally recognized for engaging in teaching and advanced research in a collaborative, hands-on environment.


About Atotech
With annual sales of € 779 million, Atotech is one of the world's leading manufacturers of processes and equipment for the PCB industry and the decorative and functional electroplating industry. Committed to sustainability, Atotech develops technologies that minimize waste and reduce environmental impact. Atotech is headquartered in Berlin, Germany and employs about 3,300 people in more than 40 countries.

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