Planarization Center Partnership Expected to Spur $5M in Investments over the Next 3 Years and Support 50 Jobs as Advanced CMP Slurries and Post-CMP Cleaning Chemicals for Next-Generation Computer Chip Production are Developed
Albany, NY – In direct alignment with Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s high-tech public-private partnership model for economic growth in New York State, SUNY Polytechnic Institute’s Colleges of Nanoscale Science and Engineering (SUNY Poly CNSE) and SEMATECH today announced that Air Products will join the joint SUNY Poly CNSE / SEMATECH Advanced Planarization Center at the Nanotech Complex in Albany. Under this agreement, Air Products will work with SUNY Poly CNSE and SEMATECH to research, develop, and commercialize leading-edge Chemical Mechanical Planarization (CMP) slurries as well as chemicals for post-CMP cleaning applications to supply its worldwide customer base. The CMP Center initiative is projected to lead to multiple party investments of $5 million over the next three years and create or support 50 jobs, including 30 at SUNY Poly CNSE.
“As yet another example of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s blueprint for business and high-tech jobs growth in New York State, we are excited to welcome Air Products to the CMP Center where they will be able to leverage SUNY Poly CNSE’s state-of-the-art resources, the NanoTech Complex’s globally recognized capabilities, and SEMATECH’s scientific expertise to drive next-generation CMP and post-CMP innovations, enabling the creation of faster and more efficient computer chips,” said Dr. Alain Kaloyeros, President and CEO of SUNY Polytechnic Institute. “Air Products’ involvement is further proof of the power of Governor Cuomo’s vision for New York State’s burgeoning nanoscience-based ecosystem, which is an engine for business and job opportunities.”
“Our participation in the CMP Center builds on the collaboration with SEMATECH that started two years ago,” stated John Langan, Global Director of Electronics Technology at Air Products. “By leveraging the expertise and capabilities of the Center at SUNY Poly CNSE we are able to accelerate the development of our CMP product offerings for sub-10nm IC fabrication.”
The three-year agreement paves the way for collaborative work between scientists from SUNY Poly CNSE, SEMATECH, and Air Products, which will utilize SUNY Poly CNSE’s state-of-the-art chip fabrication tools. SUNY Poly CNSE will also provide Air Products with a steady source of advanced wafers for testing and developing post-CMP cleaning chemicals as well as slurries that are used as part of the CMP process. Additionally, the pioneering work that is expected to take place at SUNY Poly’s world-class $20 billion Albany NanoTech Complex will support ongoing advanced chemical research at the company’s other facilities, located in Taiwan and Arizona.
More specifically, Air Products will be able to leverage the very first dedicated Advanced CMP test maskset, located inside one of SUNY Poly CNSE’s Class 1 capable cleanrooms, to support refinement of their shallow trench isolation (STI) polish. This test maskset has been designed by SUNY Poly CNSE and SEMATECH to update the well-known SEMATECH/MIT maskset, which has been the de facto workhorse for the CMP community for the last two decades. STI is a technique for depositing certain insulating materials inside trenches that have been etched into a silicon wafer in order to minimize electrical “leakage” from closely packed semiconductor components. As part of the CMP process, a reactive liquid solution, known as a ”slurry,” is applied to a polishing pad and used to remove any excess material from the filled trenches. Use of the Advanced CMP maskset will allow Air Products to develop and test next-generation CMP slurries and post-CMP cleaning chemicals, using feature sizes and materials which are most relevant to next generation chip manufacturing.
“We are excited that Air Products has taken this important first step. The response for the advanced CMP maskset has been immense, ever since rollout of the design at the International Conference on Planarization/CMP Technology (ICPT) in Kobe, Japan last November (http://www.icpt2014.org),” said SUNY Polytechnic Institute Associate Vice President for Business, Wafer Processing, Frank Tolic. “The significance of this one of a kind Planarization Center impacts the entire global semiconductor community and is made possible through Governor Andrew Cuomo’s continued efforts to drive New York’s global leadership in nanotechnology research and development.”
The new joint Center plays a critical role in SUNY Poly CNSE and SEMATECH’s efforts at enabling innovation in nanoelectronics, serving as a technology test-bed to enable participating companies with development, demonstration, integration, and qualification of advanced CMP technologies for the semiconductor industry. In concert with other Centers that are being established, the Planarization Center will create cross-center synergies to drive technical excellence, reducing total ownership costs as next-generation technology is developed. Already, the Planarization Center has seen significant interest from a number of CMP sector-leading corporations, which are in active negotiations to partner with the Center.
Globally recognized for innovative atmospheric gases, process and specialty gases, performance materials, equipment, and technologies, Air Products’ planarization line of business offers an established portfolio of CMP slurry products for copper CMP, tungsten CMP, STI CMP, and wafer polishing applications. Air Products also supplies specialty chemicals for use in semiconductor post-CMP cleaning applications and boasts more than 750 production facilities with operations in more than 50 countries that serve over 30 industries.
“We are proud that Air Products has chosen to leverage the joint SUNY Poly CNSE / SEMATECH Planarization Center’s industry-leading resources to stay ahead of the curve with cutting-edge CMP slurries and post-CMP cleaning chemicals, providing even more proof that Governor Andrew Cuomo’s plan for high-tech, nanotechnology-based growth in this region and across upstate New York is coming to fruition,” said SEMATECH Director of Corporate Development, Dr. Edward Barth. “We are excited for the Planarization Center’s future. It continues to expand through the participation of top corporations like Air Products, creating jobs and business opportunities while demonstrating the ongoing value of collaborative research and development in high technology industries.”