Infineon Demonstrates its Strong Research and Development Activity with Numerous Technical Presentations at Prestigious IEDM

Dec 8, 2003 | Market News

Washington DC, December 8, 2003 – At the prestigious 2003 IEEE International Electron Devices Meeting (IEDM) taking place in Washington DC, December 8 - 10, 2003 Infineon is highlighting its research and development activities with several technical presentations. The papers present recent developments on DRAMs, organic semiconductors and memories, biochemical sensors and innovative processes, and identify key technologies for “Ambient Intelligence” applications. The participation in this years meeting reinforces the leading position of Infineon in research and development.

IEDM is held each December and is one of the world's premier conferences for the presentation of advances in micro- and nanoelectronics-related devices and processes. This year more than 230 papers present leading achievements in many different areas, encompassing both silicon and non-silicon electronic device technology, optoelectronics, MEMS (Micro ElectroMechanical System) and molecular electronics.

Below the titles and brief summaries of the technical presentations by Infineon are listed.

Organic Materials for High-Density Non-Volatile Memory Applications

Numerous organic and inorganic materials have been proposed for non-volatile memory applications. At IEDM, Infineon describes cell concepts and requirements for non-volatile memories on the base of novel organic materials. Memory cells built in this technology already demonstrate promising reliability data. For the first time, retention data of more than a year are shown for an organic memory material exhibiting conductance switching. Further investigations show the potential for scaling the material down to feature sizes of below 20nm. This organic material is an attractive candidate as storage material for use in non-volatile memories.

Biochemical Sensors Based on Bulk Acoustic Wave Resonators

A high potential market for new microelectronic applications is the market for pharmaceutical and diagnostics solutions. Today optical sensors are characteristically used. Infineon has developed a new biochemical sensor principle based on interface biochemistry using a bulk acoustic wave oscillator for mass sensing. This concept offers the advantage of replacing traditional complex and expensive optical solutions with a low-cost and sensitive electronic sensor system. Record resolution of more than 0.1ng/µm² has already been demonstrated. The system is highly suitable for multiple purposes covering a wide range of pharmaceutical or health care applications like protein body/anti-body or DNA hybridization detection.

A Fourth Material: Thermally Stable Organic Gap-fill Spin-on Polymer Enabling New DRAM Integration Concepts

All process engineers in the silicon semiconductor world are facing the same problem: most integration concepts are based on a few materials like silicon, silicon oxide and silicon nitride. Using only these materials limits the integration options. Resists as a fourth alternative are limited, since processing at higher temperatures is not possible. A thermally stable organic polymer co-developed by Infineon combines the advantages of both worlds enabling new integration concepts. Infineon demonstrates the feasibility of an organic material for a DRAM trench integration scheme. The new approach uses a modified version of an organic spin-on polymer with ideal gap fill properties, good planarization and temperature stability beyond 450 °C. The 256M DDR DRAM chips fabricated on 140nm ground rules show high yields. This concept demonstrates the feasibility of FEOL (Front-End Of Line) integration schemes utilising the newly developed material. Furthermore the demonstrated integration scheme is capable of extending DRAM trenches to generations below 70nm.

Molecular Thin Film Transistors with a Subthreshold Swing of 100 mV/decade

Organic thin film transistors (TFTs) are being developed for a variety of applications. One of the most critical problems of the traditional organic TFTs is the high operating voltage, which often exceeds 20V. At IEDM, Infineon demonstrates a molecular thin film transistor based on a high-mobility organic semiconductor (pentacene) and an ultra-thin, molecular self-assembling-monolayer (SAM) gate dielectric. With this breakthrough in the area of gate dielectrics for organic transistors, transistors operating down to 1V were realized exhibiting a subthreshold swing as low as 100 mV/decade. For a transistor with a channel length of 5µm, a transconductance of 0.01 µS/µm was measured - the largest transconductance reported for an organic semiconductor device up to today.

A Model for Al 2O 3 ALD Conformity and Deposition Rate from Oxygen Precursor Reactivity

Increasing aspect ratios in shrinked DRAM cells lead to higher demands for step coverage and film homogenity of high-k dielectrics. Even with atomic layer deposition (ALD) it is not trivial to fulfil these specifications. To support this task by simulation Infineon has developed a novel ALD model for a wide range of available precursors, process conditions and tools. The ALD of alumina using TMA (Trimethyl-aluminum) and O 3, O (atomic oxygen), or H 2O into high aspect ratio trenches was investigated. Implementing this effective model into a customary feature scale simulator, coupled to a fluid dynamical reactor simulator, a consistent description of ALD on atomistic, feature, and reactor scale is obtained. With this multi scale approach it is possible for the first time to simulate film profile evolution during dielectric ALD into high aspect ratio trenches for future DRAM generations.

Atomistic Tight-Binding Calculations for the Investigation of Transport in Extremely Scaled SOI Transistors (Invited Paper)

Infineon will present accurate transport simulations for highly scaled nano-transistors with gate lengths and channel thicknesses below 10 nm, corresponding to fewer than 50 silicon atoms along the channel. The calculations are based on a novel method that relies on the fundamental lattice structure of the transistor. For the first time, this permits the direct investigation of atomistic effects on the device behavior of ultra-small transistors.

Numerous insights into the impact of atomic-scale fluctuations, strain and alloy effects, defects, and quantum mechanical phenomena on gate oxide tunneling and device scaling will be presented. In particular, it is predicted that transistors will work properly at least down to gate lengths of 4-6 nm if process tolerances are tightly controlled. The presented work is a step towards simulating nano-transistors on the atomic level.

Ambient Intelligence - Key Technologies in the Information Age (Invited Paper)

Applications describing achievements along the road towards ‘Ambient Intelligence’ are discussed with this contribution to IEDM. Today’s standalone electronic appliances and devices disappear into the environment of the individual; instead services come into focus. Key to this development are system solutions that lead to a significant improvement of the human-machine interface. Along this line, Infineon presents key technologies and system components ranging from low-cost electronic technologies and systems, to ubiquitous sensor networks and electronics in smart textiles. In conclusion, this presentation relates the semiconductor technology roadmap to a future world in which electronics meets human needs in a pervasive, intuitive and beneficial way.

About Infineon

Infineon Technologies AG, Munich, Germany, offers semiconductor and system solutions for the automotive and industrial sectors, for applications in the wired communications markets, secure mobile solutions as well as memory products. With a global presence, Infineon operates in the US from San Jose, CA, in the Asia-Pacific region from Singapore and in Japan from Tokyo. In the fiscal year 2003 (ending September), the company achieved sales of Euro 6.15 billion with about 32,300 employees worldwide. Infineon is listed on the DAX index of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange and on the New York Stock Exchange (ticker symbol: IFX). Further information is available at

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