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Applied Materials Expands Intellectual Property Portfolio for C4F6 Etch Process Applications.

Business Editors/High-Tech Writers

SANTA CLARA, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--April 15, 2002

Process Chemistry Patented for Critical Dielectric Etch Applications;

Outstanding Results Demonstrated at UMC

Applied Materials, Inc. today announced two newly granted U.S. Patents No. 6,326,307 and No. 6,362,109, the company's third and fourth patents covering the use of hexafluorobutadiene (C4F6) gas chemistry for critical dielectric etch applications. A high-performance etch process chemistry, C4F6 used in an Applied Materials etch system, enables the industry's move to the 100nm chip generation and beyond. Applied Materials' pioneering work with C4F6 has resulted so far in four patents issued, three additional patents allowed and about to issue, with more than 10 patents pending.

"These newest patents further the scope of our unique position to offer customers significantly improved techniques for critical dielectric etching using C4F6 process chemistry," said Dr. Diana Ma, vice president and general manager of Applied Materials Dielectric Etch Division. "Selecting the most appropriate etch process chemistry is the first step to addressing key etch issues for technologies to sub-100nm. Using this gas and our etch systems, customers can achieve higher selectivity and a wider process window while maintaining high etch rates for increased productivity."

The production benefits of using C4F6 gas for critical dielectric etching are verified by a leading chip foundry, United Microelectronics Company (UMC) of Hsinchu, Taiwan. "We have been using Applied Materials' C4F6 chemistry and eMAX(TM) etcher in production and are very pleased to see robust etch performance with low defectivity. We attribute the higher selectivity to photoresist and improved profile and CD control results largely to this advanced chemistry," said Dr. Tsu An Lin, etch module manager at UMC.

Applied Materials' C4F6 patents cover the use of the process gas for etching oxide films to provide improved process performance and increased process robustness and productivity. The C4F6 gas delivers high selectivity to photoresists and precise profile and critical dimension (CD) control for critical etch applications that include dual damascene, high aspect ratio and self-aligned contact etching. These capabilities are essential in etching the extreme feature sizes of sub-100nm devices and enable the use of low k dielectric films and 193nm photoresists. In addition to improving etch process performance, C4F6 gas features low global warming emissions and ozone depletion potential.

Applied Materials, Inc. is a Fortune 500 global growth company and the world's largest supplier of wafer fabrication systems and services to the global semiconductor industry. Applied Materials is traded on the Nasdaq National Market System under the symbol "AMAT." Applied Materials' web site is www.appliedmaterials.com.
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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Apr 15, 2002
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