- R&D 100 Awards
Thermal annealing is a technique that is important in many industrial manufacturing procedures, including semiconductor fabrication. CINmat (Microwave Annealing Technology) takes a novel approach to implementing microwave annealing (MWA). It solves the major problems of conventional high frequency magnetron-based MWA, by providing critical functional features. It provides close to the bonding resonance frequency between silicon and silicon atoms or dopant and silicon atoms. CINmat uses 2.45GHz commercial magnetron as the microwave source. CINmat’s use of commercial 2.45GHz magnetron conveniently provides a favorable annealing operational condition in the system as 2.45GHz is intimately close to these resonance frequencies. This substantially assists to “stimulate” both the restoration of the base silicon lattice and the activation of the dopant. With CINmat, more annealing energy is also delivered to the target source/drain structure via all-region spontaneous resonance of implant atoms, which means the entire, three-dimensional source/drain region is annealed simultaneously as a whole. Thermal conduction plays a relatively minor role in CINmat. As such, the entire depth of the target source/drain region is annealed evenly and there is virtually no issue of vertical profile.