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Low Dielectric Constant Films

Silica aerogel/xerogel (known as nanoporous silica) has numerous properties, which make it ideal for use as a low dielectric constant material (1.1<K<2.5) for interlevel dielectrics (ILD's).  Advantages of these materials, in addition to low dielectric constant, include high temperature stability, pores much smaller than microelectronics feature sizes, deposition using conventional spin-on and vapor deposition methods, and precursors similar to those currently used in the microelectronic

As integrated circuit sizes decrease below 0.25 microns, device performance will no longer improve at the same rate as for past generations because of RC interconnect delay, which becomes significant as compared to the intrinsic gate delay.  One approach to address this is to use a lower resistance metal.  For example:  copper instead of aluminum. Another approach is to use a dielectric material with a dielectric constant significantly below that of dense silica (~4).  Thin films of nanoporous silica are ideal candidates for the low dielectric constant material and this was the motivation for the development of NANOGLASS™

Texas Instruments and Motorola have both demonstrated successful integration of nanoporous silica thin films in their copper damascene process.

It is predicted that this breakthrough will lead to microprocessors that are at least 10 times faster and use much less power than today's most powerful chips.

NanoPore has developed the NANOGLASS™ family of nanoporous silica precursors for this application.  Several versions (different K, thickness, etc.) are currently in test marketing by NANOGLASS™ LLC (a wholly owned subsidiary of Honeywell and formerly, a 50/50 joint venture between Honeywell/ AlliedSignal and NanoPore).

For more information on NANOGLASS™, please visit Honeywell Electronic Materials

If you would like to obtain more information or to request reprints of technical publications, please contact us at

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