English Top>News Releases>2003>SDK Expands Capacity for Ceria-based CMP Slurries

News Releases

SDK Expands Capacity for Ceria-based CMP Slurries

November 13, 2003

Showa Denko K.K. (SDK) has expanded its production capacity for ceria-based chemical mechanical polishing (CMP) slurries in Shiojiri, Nagano Prefecture, from 200 tons a year to 300 tons to meet growing demand.
SDK’s CMP slurries, sold under the trade name of GPL, are supplied to the semiconductor industry. The product is a combination of SDK’s high-performance abrasive grains (mechanical polishing; inorganic chemical technology) and additives that ensure surface flatness and selectivity (chemical polishing; organic chemical technology). GPL is used mainly for the polishing of interlevel dielectrics (ILD) and shallow trench isolation (STI) of semiconductor devices. GPL is increasingly used for the latter application, meeting more stringent quality requirements.
The line width target in IC fabrication, which stood at 130 nm in 2001, is getting narrower year by year: 90 nm for 2004, 65 nm for 2007, and 45 nm for 2010. Currently, silica-based CMP slurries are commonly used for the processing of ICs at the 130 nm-level. With the start of commercial production of semiconductor devices processed at the 90 nm-level, however, demand is growing for ceria-based CMP slurries for STI polishing.
Furthermore, the semiconductor industry is developing more miniaturized devices to be processed at the 65-nm level. This will require CMP slurries with still higher performance due to an increase in copper wiring in logic devices, adoption of ultra-low-k (permittivity) films, and progress in multilayer interconnections. To meet this trend, SDK is now developing new CMP slurry for the polishing of copper wiring.
SDK is the sole comprehensive manufacturer in Japan of polishing materials. In particular, SDK has technological advantages in the field of ceria-based abrasive grains as it developed “Shorox” in the 1980s for the polishing of hard disks and glass for crystal liquid displays. SDK’s share in the ceria-based CMP slurry market is growing rapidly and the company expects annual sales of ¥5 billion in 2006 from this business.
In the ongoing medium-term consolidated business plan the “Sprout Project,” SDK is promoting the semiconductor processing materials operation as one of the “growth businesses.” In addition to CMP slurries, SDK is expanding its operation in the area of specialty gases, including fluorine-based etching gases and cleaning gases.