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NANO3D SYSTEMS NEWS – Q2 2019

NANO3D SYSTEMS, LLC (NANO3D) formulates, markets and sells specialty chemicals for metal deposition including Electroplating (EP), Electroless Plating (ELP), Atomic Layer Deposition (ALD) and Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD). Our products are used for research and development as well as commercial scale applications, especially in microelectronic, transportation and chemical industries. We also provide custom formulations of plating solutions, precursor synthesis, micro-fabrication and characterization services.

NANO3D launched the new webpage – Product Resources containing an interactive periodic table with information on properties, electrochemical deposition solutions and applications for 83 elements as well as information on electroplating and electroless plating processes. 38 metals & compounds can be deposited using electrochemical products available online at our STORE (EP Au, Cu, Cr, Ni, NiFe, NiCo, Pd, Sn, ELP AgW, Au, Cu, Sn, Zn, CuZn, CoWP, NiP, NiWP, CoWBP as well as plateable TiOx/Pd photoresist, EL Ni kits, Cu plated graphite & Si particles, CNT solutions, Ni & NiFe & Pd foils, reducing agents, plating additives et al). There are 10 metals including Ir, Pd, Pt, Ru, Rh, Au, Ag, Co, Ni, Cu that can be deposited using ALD & CVD precursors supplied by NANO3D in collaboration with our partner.

INDUSTRY TRENDS

Advanced Packaging and Scaling

The electrochemical deposition (ECD) equipment and materials market for advanced IC packaging is heating up as 2.5D (silicon, organic and glass interposers), 3D (through-silicon vias, TSV) and fan-out (wafer-level and panel-level processes) technologies begin to ramp up. Heterogeneous multi-chip packaging and fan-out packaging processes enable semiconductor companies to achieve performance goals without just shrinking feature sizes.

Plating for advanced packaging includes Cu & SnAg & Ni pillars with down to 10-30 µm pitch and Cu redistribution layers (RDL) for flip chip technology as well as through-substrate via (hole) filling and Cu RDL’s for 2.5D interposers and 3D-ICs.

Plated mega-Cu pillars (~200 µm thick) and Cu RDL are used for fan-out packages. The latest high-density fan-out packages are migrating toward the 1 µm line/space and beyond. Redistribution layers with smaller critical dimensions enable reducing the total number of redistribution process levels in a fan-out package. At these critical dimensions (CDs), fan-outs will provide better performance and cost. Thickness uniformity, high plating speed with current densities in the range of 400 – 600 mA/cm2, and low stress of Cu electrodeposits are very important for advanced packaging.

Scaling continues to be a vibrant part of the IC business. TSMC is reporting that 25% of their revenue is coming from 7 nm, and 5 nm risk wafers with EUVL up to 14 layers and interconnect pitch of below 30 nm are starting this year or early next year. It’s unclear if copper can extend to 3nm, so the industry is exploring other metals such as cobalt et al. Intel moved from traditional Cu to Co materials for two of the interconnect layers at 10 nm. W plugs at contact level are being replaced with Co fill process.

Defect-free filling of sub-15 nm damascene features (trenches and vias), low electrical resistivity and high electromigration resistance are very important for scaling of on-chip interconnects.

Atomic Layer Deposition and Chemical Vapor Deposition

NANO3D SYSTEMS, LLC expand its product portfolio to ALD & CVD metal-organic precursors for deposition of Iridium (Ir), Palladium (Pd), Platinum (Pt), Ruthenium (Ru), Rhodium (Rh), Gold (Au), Silver (Ag), Cobalt (Co), Nickel (Ni) and Copper (Cu) conformal films and nano-layers. The specialty chemicals, metal-organic precursors, are provided in collaboration with NANO3D’s partner.

NANO3D SYSTEMS NEWS – Q1 2019

NANO3D SYSTEMS LLC is in final phase of SBIR Phase II/IIB project founded by National Science Foundation. NANO3D’s eLOCOSTM plating technology has been endorsed by 22 customers including world largest companies in semiconductor, transportation and consumer electronics industries. NANO3D has also recently launched our new website (https://nano3dsystems.com) in collaboration with DirectHitsWebMarketing.com and Transene Company Inc. to market and sell products in the following categories:

  1. Electroless Plating Solutions (low resistivity Cu, ohmic contact NiP, conformal NiWP and CoWP barriers,  cyanide-free immersion Au, Immersion Zn and electroless Sn)
  2. Electroplating Solutions (high speed & bright Cu, low stress Ni, low stress & low CTE Invar, low stress Permalloy, low stress NiCo, cyanide-free Au, nano-crystalline Pd)
  3. Electrochemical microfabrication (plateable TiOx-Pd photoresist, Electroless NiP and Cu on Ceramics, Cu plated graphite particles, Ultra-Thin Ni & NiFe alloys Foils)

INDUSTRY TRENDS

Plating for Electronics Applications

The focus issues of JECS highlights Advances in Electrochemical Processes for Interconnect Fabrication in Integrated Circuits, Vol. 166, No. 1, 2019. Contribution from leading researches cover fundamental and applied aspects of electrochemical nano- and micro-fabrication including but not limited to:

  1. Superconformal cobalt plating for contacts and local interconnects in 10 nm and beyond technology that improves via resistance and electromigration. 
  2. Superconformal copper plating of through-silicon vias (TSV) and through-glass vias (TGV) interconnects for MEMS devices and glass interposers.
  3. Superconformal gold plating of recessed surface features for compound semiconductors and related optoelectronics to enable dense 3-D interconnects.
  4. Electroplating of copper for damascene interconnects, copper on ruthenium liner for electronics interconnects, gold & nickel for MEMS and FeCo & FeCoMn for magnetic recording.
  5. Electroless copper seed conformal plating for TSV interconnects and FeNiB alloy with low coefficient of thermal expansion for high-density packaging.

Superconformal cobalt and copper plating have been achieved in a single suppressor-type additive plating bath, while superconformal gold plating was demonstrated in an accelerating-type additive chemistry that is a significant departure from the conventional damascene process that uses three additives (accelerator, suppressor and leveler). The bottom-up fill mechanisms are based on pH & suppressor gradient for Co deposition, suppressor reduction for Cu TGV plating, S-shaped Negative Differential Resistance and Curvature Enhanced Accelerator Coverage models for superconformal plating of different metals. These mechanisms were discussed in papers from companies & research institutions including  Atotech, Corning, LAM Research, NIST, ITRI, Sandia National Labs and various universities such as Binghamton University SUNY, National Tsing Hua University et al.

NANO3D SYSTEMS is pleased to be nominated to the 2017 World Materials Forum Start Up Challenge.

NANO3D SYSTEMS is pleased to be nominated to the 2017 World Materials Forum Start Up Challenge. We see this nomination as an opportunity for our eLOCOS(TM) plating technology to be part of WMF’s mission to achieve the objective of materials efficiency for better growth with materials/IOT industry leaders throughout the world. World Materials Forum (WMF) was held on June 29 – 30th in Nancy, France. This year forum includes about 260 invited C–suite participants in materials / IOT companies throughout the world. It’s different than conventional industry forums – only thought leaders and company executives across industries driving new technologies for sustainability. This leads to a fascinating network and information flow.

WMF asked Nano3D Systems’ president Val Dubin to describe Nano3D’s breakthrough technology and its contribution to the WMF Overall Objective of “Material Efficiency for Better Growth.” Dr. Dubin’s response was:

“NANO3D provides revolutionary eLOCOS metallization technology for advanced 3D devices. NANO3D addresses $15.3B metal plating market opportunity that needs advanced plating technology to decrease the interconnect feature sizes and increase the power density for next generation consumer and power electronic devices.

NANO3D’s patented eLOCOS plating technology is based on novel materials and enables: a) drastically increase the interconnect density by selectively plating ultra-small features of high aspect ratios to reduce the form factor, and b) fabricate controlled expansion interconnects by plating alloys with unique properties to eliminate CTE mismatch between buildup materials.

We partner with major plating tool suppliers and R&D consortiums to qualify NANO3D’s process technology and plating chemicals, and then scale up the production of materials through toll manufacturing and licensing to established chemical companies.

NANO3D additive metallization technology drastically reduces the usage of copper and polishing slurry to fabricate multichip interconnects to enable small form factor, affordable and reliable 3D microsystems. “

Selective Plating on Flexible Glass and Polymer Substrates with Laser Drilled Holes

Two of Nano3D System’s newest projects were presented at the 231st Electrochemical Society Meeting in New Orleans, LA. “Selective Plating on Flexible Glass and Polymer Substrates with Laster Drilled Holes” showcased Nano3D’s flagship catalytic photoresist at its most versatile. The same laser can be used to both drill vias into a substrate and pattern the photoresist, while the resist is suitable for both promoting electroless deposition inside the via and generating clean, well-defined fine patterns on the substrate surface.

Photopatternable, Electrochemically Plated Conductive Fabrics” used a modified 1-step Sn/Pd activator to generate photopatterned conductive features on cotton substrates. This process starts with commercially available cotton fabrics and ends with a flexible circuit with minimnal processing or damage to the substrate. Papers detailing both the plated fabric and selective plating/laser drilling can be found in the 231st ECS Meeting Transactions.

EXTENSION OF NSF SBIR PHASE II PROJECT

Nano3D Systems, LLC is engaged in a Small Business/ERC Collaborative Opportunity (SECO) with the Center for Power Optimization of Electro-Thermal Systems as an extension of its current NSF SBIR Phase II project. The collaboration will advance NANO3D’s eLOCOS(TM) platform technology in novel applications of 3D electro-thermal systems for the reduction of energy consumption in the transportation industry.

The collaboration will advance NANO3D’s eLOCOS(TM) platform technology in novel applications of 3D electro-thermal systems for the reduction of energy consumption in the transportation industry.

Over 25% of the energy consumed by the United States goes towards transportation, and a great majority of the money spent on this energy is spent on fossil fuels. By increasing the power density of mobile electrified systems, the Center for Power Optimization of Electro-Thermal Systems (POETS) wants to conserve nearly 80 million gallons of fuel per year from on-highway vehicle usage alone. The widespread adoption of electrified vehicles will produce both immediate and long-term economic and environmental benefits. In order to gain acceptance, electrified vehicles need to be competitive both in performance and costs to petroleum-powered cars & trucks.

The technical challenges posed by POETS goal are substantial, and Nano3D Systems believes eLOCOS(TM) solutions can play an integral role in the development of power-dense mobile electrified systems. In the short term, Nano3D Systems provides access to unique plating formulas and cost-reducing conformal plating technology. POETS consortium members now have a ready source of customizable, high-tech metallization options, including the Invar, an alloy whose physical properties are particularly suited to address the challenges inherent to thermally-limited systems. POETS explicit mission is to commercialize the results of successful research projects and Nano3D Systems’ facilitates the lab-to-production transition by the commitment to scalability and cost containment that is built into the eLOCOS(TM) system.