Defect reduction in directed self-assembly processes

Leuven - Master projects/internships
Meer dan twee weken geleden

Advanced lithography using self-assembling materials enables to print smaller pattern with reduced cost - one of scaling booster!

With scaling of electronic devices, printing smaller structures on the chip has become more and more complex and costly. For a few years, directed self-assembly (DSA) has been considered as a viable and low-cost alternative and complementary patterning option for keeping the down-scaling alive in the coming years, while ensuring an economic benefit to the silicon industry. Instead of upgrading lithography tools and imaging materials, DSA process uses block copolymers that can spontaneously form 5 - 30 nm features to print fine pattern. Several figures of merit have been identified and put forward as major checkpoints to assess the relevance of DSA processes for high-volume manufacturing environment; defectivity, roughness, placement accuracy, repeatability, and cost of development. Your project will focus on one of the main factors that would make or break the show for DSA to be adopted by the IC manufacturers/production fabs – reducing the number of defects on the wafer after DSA and to be able to identify their root causes. The main goal of your Masters’ thesis/internship is to support and enable the defect reduction strategies of the DSA program at imec. From this project, you will first get accustomed to advanced lithography tools in our 300 mm wafer production line environment. As you get familiar with the DSA process and defect inspection techniques, the focus of your study will shift more towards automated defect review/classification capabilities using a 300 mm in-line review SEM and a dedicated software. A big part of your tasks will also include running the weekly defectivity monitor flow and analyzing the data from it, which acts as the baseline to assess the impact of the various defect reduction approaches we adopt.

[Generic DSA literature]

1) P. Delgadillo et al., Defect source analysis of directed self-assembly process (DSA of DSA), Proc. of SPIE Vol. 8680, 86800L, 2013. doi: 10.1117/12.2011674

2) P. Delgadillo et al., All track directed self-assembly of block copolymers: process flow and origin of defects, Proc. of SPIE Vol. 8323, 83230D, 2012. doi: 10.1117/12.916410




Type of project: Combination of internship and thesis

Duration: 12 months

Required degree: Master of Engineering Technology, Master of Science, Master of Engineering Science

Required background: Chemistry/Chemical Engineering, Materials Engineering, Nanoscience & Nanotechnology

Supervising scientist(s): For further information or for application, please contact: Hyo Seon Suh (

Imec allowance will be provided for students studying at a non-Belgian university.

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