According to the report published by QYResearch, The global SOC (Spin on Carbon) Hardmasks market is forecasted to keep the trend and expand to $ 846.19 million by 2026 from $ 552.22 million in 2021, growing at a CAGR of 8.91% from 2021 to 2026.
Spin-on carbon materials provide high transparency for improved overlay control and high thermal stability for compatibility in various integration flows.
Spin-on carbon (SOC) hardmasks are an increasingly key component of the micro-chip fabrication process. They are frequently used to improve the resists’ selectivity to silicon during plasma etching. Furthermore, as chip architectures become increasingly complex the use of hardmasks to improve the aspect ratio of features in silicon is critical. In this context, the ‘aspect ratio’ is the ratio between the height of a feature on a silicon wafer and its width. For many emerging multi-layer chip architectures, such as tri-layer etch-stacks, a large height to width ratio is required to maintain small lateral features across multiple vertical layers.
In a tri-layer etch stack the bottom layer is typically thick amorphous carbon deposited by chemical vapor deposition (CVD). The challenges for CVD are high capital and running costs, particle defects, and the non-planarizing nature of the layer. Irresistible Materials’ innovative SOC materials are based on novel carbon fullerene derivatives (CFDs). These outperform CVD and existing state-of-the-art materials across several critical performance metrics (refer to data sheet overleaf).
Global SOC (Spin on Carbon) Hardmasks Market- Key Players
The SOC (Spin on Carbon) Hardmasks industry is concentrated and there are only a few suppliers engaged in the production currently. Key suppliers include Samsung SDI, Merck Group, JSR, Brewer Science, Shin-Etsu MicroSi, YCCHEM, Nano-C, etc. Samsung SDI is the largest manufacturer of SOC (Spin on Carbon) Hardmasks, owning more than 42% sales share globally, followed by Merck Group with 22% share.
Spin on hardmask (SOH) process continue to gain popularity as it replaces the traditional SiON/ACL hardmask scheme which suffers from high CoO, low productivity, particle contamination, and layer alignment issues. In an integrated circuit manufacturing process, spin-on-carbon (SOC) materials constitute an important layer for the multilayer process to achieve smaller feature size. The SOC layer responds to the photolithography, pattern transformation, substrate planarization, and a variety of other critical processes.
A key challenge in selecting a suitable material is that some processes require a high temperature, reaching as high as 300°C to 500°C, and most polymers decompose at these high temperatures. There are a few platforms that can survive, but these materials present challenges of their own. These types of materials that have high-temperature-stable polymers usually have poor solubility in commonly used organic solvents. Polymer types that are good for thermal stability often do not have good for gap fill or planarization. The SOC layer also must avoid both intermixing with the top layer and maintain line-wiggling resistance during pattern transfer etch.
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