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Producer® Precision® APF® PECVD

The Applied Producer Precision APF PECVD system produces a family of strippable amorphous carbon hard mask films for critical patterning steps.

Running at virtually every advanced DRAM, NAND flash, and logic manufacturing site, , the system produces the industry's first commercially available PECVD ashable amorphous carbon film for patterning. APF is one of the enabling films in self-aligned double patterning integration for scaling standard ArF lithography beyond its physical limitations and patterning high aspect ratio features. As APF applications have proliferated, it has evolved from one film into a family of specialized films.

Widely adopted as a patterning film for small features and high aspect ratio (HAR) structures, APF offers superior etch selectivity and lower line edge roughness (LER) than traditional photoresist (PR). With its PR-like ashability, it can be readily integrated into process flows. Used alone or in conjunction with Applied Materials' DARC (Dielectric Anti-Reflective Coating) film, this cost-effective, litho-enabling film offers high etch selectivity for polysilicon, nitride and oxide; excellent CD control; and reduced LER.

Building on APF's excellent etch selectivity and LER, APFe enables deposition of thicker layers than APF (e.g., in capacitor formation and metal contacts for memory devices), while maintaining the alignment transparency necessary for etching HAR vias.

Saphira APF delivers a transparent, highly selective, low-stress hardmask that enables continued feature scaling. Its ease of integration and simplified process flow reduce patterning complexity.