Market Overview

Hitachi High-Technologies Develops Enhanced Microwave ECR Etching Module


Achieves Damage-Free Atomic-Level Etching with a Wide Range of Optional

Hitachi High-Technologies Corporation (TSE: 8036) (Hitachi High-Tech)
announced the development of the Enhanced Microwave ECR*1
Etching Module (the "Module"), a new product designed for
next-generation semiconductor device manufacturing processes. The module
mounts onto the 9000-Series Conductor Etch System, one of Hitachi
High-Tech's conductor etch platforms and supports the development and
mass production of cutting-edge semiconductor devices at 7 nm and beyond.

This press release features multimedia. View the full release here:

Conductor Etch System 9000-Series (Photo: Business Wire)

Conductor Etch System 9000-Series (Photo: Business Wire)

In the past few years, semiconductor devices evolved toward higher
performance, driven by changes in transistor structures, such as FinFET*2,
the commercialization of new memory techniques such as 3D-NAND, and the
growing complexity of etching processes such as multi-patterning*3
technology. This evolution is accompanied by an increase in the number
of etching application processes. In this environment, there has been a
need for a high-performance system capable of etching at the atomic and
molecular levels to support semiconductor devices in the 7 nm generation
and beyond.

Hitachi High-Tech's Conductor Etch System generates a stable plasma*4
in the high-vacuum, low-pressure regime and uses the microwave ECR
method capable of performing low-damage etching. The newly designed
Module is an etch chamber based on a new structure that dramatically
improves the exhaust capacity for reaction byproducts*5 that
inhibit etching. Moreover, by optimizing the position of the
magnetic-field coil, Hitachi High-Tech achieves high-precision etching
that selectively controls only the thin film to be etched at the atomic
and molecular levels from among the multiple thin films on which
patterns will be formed, all in conjunction with maintaining low-damage
etching capability.

Optional functionality of the Module includes:

・an Integrated Pulse Control Function*6:


Controlling the generation of plasma and the replacement of gas
within the etch chamber, thereby further enhancing etching



・Plasma Distribution Control Function:

This function improves the magnetic coil configuration and enables
more accurate control of the position where the etching plasma is
generated using microwave electric field control technology, which
optimizes the propagation of microwaves in the etch chamber. The
combined effects enhance etching precision across the entire wafer.



・The Multi-Temperature Control Function:

A function designed to control the temperature of the stage on which
the wafer rests by separating the stage into several zones. This
allows for a uniform etching speed, which varies with temperature,
across the entire wafer.

Hitachi High-Tech delivers high-precision etching capabilities through
the wide range of functions available with this Module. By doing so,
Hitachi High-Tech will continue to provide innovative solutions in a
timely manner to address a diverse array of customer needs for the
development and mass production of semiconductor devices. In parallel,
Hitachi High-Tech contributes to cutting-edge manufacturing by pursuing
and creating new value together with its customers.


ECR(Electron Cyclotron Resonance: Applying a magnetic field to a
vacuum system starts a rotational motion of electrons called
cyclotron motion centered at the magnetic field lines in the
magnetic field. When microwave energy with frequency (ω) matching
the rotation speed is made incident, energy resonance occurs
between the cyclotron motion and the electric field, and the
electric field energy is absorbed by the electrons. This is called
electron cyclotron resonance. It effectively accelerates electrons
and can apply a large amount of energy. The plasma that is
generated with the energy applied in this way is called ECR plasma.


FinFET(Fin-shaped Field Effect Transistor: A field effect
transistor with a 3D-type construction


Multi-patterning: A technique for forming fine circuit patterns
through repeated, multiple exposures

*4 Plasma: A group of charged particles that is kept almost
electrically neutral as a whole. The ions with a positive charge and
electrons with a negative charge are distributed equally in an
ionized state.
*5 Reaction byproducts: By-products generated by chemical reactions
between reaction gases used in etching and the materials being
*6 Integrated Pulse Control Function: A function that controls the
timing of factors such as the generation of plasma, the replacement
of reaction gases, and the detachment and emission of reaction

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