German material technology company Merck said Friday it has developed a new lineup of green solvents for use in photolithographic processes in semiconductor manufacturing.
The new solvent lineup is called AZ 910 Remover, which according to the firm is N-methylpyrrolidone-free solvent designed for faster dissolution of photoresist patterns in a cost-effective and greener way with its outstanding resist-dissolution performance.
Semiconductor production facilities traditionally use negative-tone photoresists, which undergo chemical reactions to make the resist more suitable for photolithographic processes.
However, this crosslinking makes the resist more difficult to dissolve and remove, incurring costs for chipmakers and affecting the environment.
Merck’s latest product dissolves both negative and positive tone photoresists rather than lifting them from the wafer surface as with current NMP-based offerings, it said.
“Merck has developed an innovative, cost-effective solution to support our customers with their advanced cleaning needs integral to realizing next-generation chips,” said Anand Nambiar, global head of the semiconductor materials business at Merck.
The Merck solvent is capable of stripping the resist using less than three times the solvent volume, saving customers money, and reducing the environmental footprint of materials entering the global waste stream, the executive explained.
High-purity cleans are critical components in the chip-making process. When materials are transferred onto a silicon wafer, a meticulous cleaning step is needed after every application to remove unwanted residues from the wafer.
As chips continue to get smaller and smaller, demand for advanced, high-performance, and environment-friendly cleaners is growing.
“Sustainability is an essential element of our corporate strategy and we are committed to developing products and technologies that create long-term value for our customers while balancing environmental needs,” Nambiar said.
By Song Su-hyun (firstname.lastname@example.org