Post-doc candidate – MSCA program, call 2024 – anisotropic patterning of binary metallic alloys based on 3d metals

Nom de l'entreprise / du laboratoire: imec vzw
Adresse web:
Encadrant: JF de Marneffe
Date de début: avril 1, 2025
Durée: 2 years

We are looking for a talented junior/mid-career scientist willing to work on a post-doctoral Marie Curie MSCA application for Individual Fellowship, to be submitted by mid-September 2024. The application will be drafted with strong support from imec staff members. If successful, it will enable a stay of up to 2 years starting from April 2025 (earliest) in a top-class research institute.

The anticipated abstract is as follows:

Semiconductor scaling is enabling a computing revolution, relying on devices that are made more compact, accessible and heterogeneous each year. This fascinating technological progress has been achieved through dimensional downscaling of CMOS logic, interconnects and memory, enabling higher performance at lower power and cost. It is also relying on extending the logic devices into the third dimension, first by enabling vertical channels (FinFETs) then, by stacking CMOS devices on top of each other (CFET). Finally, an essential contribution comes from new materials, showing improved or new properties compared to the usual Si, SiO2 and copper. Presently, miniaturization technology is approaching its critical limits due to emerging challenges in developing nanofabrication methods required by these new geometries and materials.

3d transition metals and metallic alloys (3d-MA) are being introduced to enable better interconnects (improve electrical conductivity at the nanoscale), better memory (magnetic RAM) and higher printing resolution (masks for extreme UV lithography). The most prominent nanofabrication challenge, for nano-systems using 3d-MA, is their anisotropic etching. Most 3d-MA are considered as ‘non-volatile’; i.e. they do not form high vapor pressure compounds while reacting with halogens (F, Cl, Br), unless heated to unpractically high or damaging temperature. Despite the huge importance of these alternative metals to overcome the challenges of downscaling technology, optimal etching processes to engineer these materials are still lacking. Future gains in computing performance can only be achieved by enabling a cost-efficient anisotropic etching of non-volatile metals for advanced miniaturized devices.

The first goal of the present project is to enable the anisotropic etching of binary alloys based on 3d transition metal by exploring an innovative and generalizable patterning technique combining extreme precision and high selectivity, based on the formation of organo-metallic volatile products. The second goal is to study and optimize the etch mechanism when the metallic alloy consists of a mixture of 3d transition metal and a group 3 metal (aluminum). The third goal is to enable the anisotropic etching of 3d transition metal and metallic alloys, with sub-10 nm resolution, high density and good mask fidelity, over complex surface geometries.

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