Brewer Science® and Dow Chemical Company Align to Unveil New Anti-Reflective Coatings for Semiconductor Industry

Oct 4, 2004

Brewer Science, the leader in bottom anti-reflective coatings since 1981, today announced a multi-year exclusive agreement with The Dow Chemical Company (NYSE:DOW) for the joint development of ENSEMBLE* ARC® advanced bottom anti-reflective coatings (BARCs) for the semiconductor industry.  Under the terms of the agreement, Brewer Science and Dow will co-develop materials within Dow's ENSEMBLE dielectric solutions platform, targeting 248nm and 193nm lithography applications for integrated circuit (IC) customers worldwide.   

ENSEMBLE ARC® films exhibit excellent planarization, gap-fill and optical characteristics, and are compatible with all major photoresist chemistries and standard lithographic spin-track tool platforms.  The new films are designed for both front-end-of-line (FEOL) and back-end-of-line (BEOL) applications.  ENSEMBLE ARC® 193nm solutions for some FEOL and BEOL applications are currently being evaluated at key customers, with 248nm formulations following later this year.

Brewer Science and other members of Dow's SiLKnet AllianceSM are developing the complementary integration modules of coating, cleaning, stripping, CMP and etching strategies to support these new materials.

"This partnership truly allows us to expand the value we deliver to our customers," said Keith Strassner, Global Director for Alliances at Brewer Science. "Our lithography process knowledge and market presence coupled with the materials expertise of Dow will provide IC manufactures with a new set of tools to tackle the complex lithographic challenges they face."

According to Mark McClear, global business director for Dow's Advanced Electronic Materials Group, this agreement combines the material science, ENSEMBLE chemistry and manufacturing capability from Dow with the customer intimacy, market reach and applications expertise of Brewer Science.

"This partnership enables Dow's first expansion beyond our leadership position in low-k dielectrics," said McClear. "Together, Brewer Science and Dow can enable leading-edge lithographic performance for advanced IC fabrication.  Brewer Science is the pioneer and current worldwide leader in organic BARC technology, which makes them an ideal partner for Dow to co-develop and introduce these products."

The Dow Advanced Electronic Materials (AEM) business provides a portfolio of materials and technologies to support customer innovation in the electronics industry.  Leveraging Dow's world-class research and manufacturing facilities, AEM develops and commercializes advanced material science solutions for the global electronics industry.  Since 2001, the AEM business has launched CYCLOTENE*, SiLK*, ENSEMBLE* and porous SiLK* dielectrics and packaging materials for the semiconductor market and LUMATION* light-emitting polymers for next-generation display technologies.

About the SiLKnet Alliance Data Network

The SiLKnet Alliance leverages the specialized expertise and technology resources of a diverse group of industry suppliers to enable the development of proven, production-ready materials, equipment and processes that support the integration of SiLK resin and porous SiLK resin, as well as ENSEMBLE* interlayer dielectric coatings, in every key BEOL manufacturing step � including the clean; CMP; etch; spin-on track; metrology; ashing; and test, assembly and packaging process modules.

Sponsored by The Dow Chemical Company, the SiLKnet Alliance has been widely cited as an example of how multiple companies can collaborate toward a common, customer-driven goal. The membership of the SiLKnet Alliance has grown to include 27 semiconductor industry suppliers since its formation in 2001. For more information about the SiLKnet Alliance, visit www.silknetalliance.com.

About Dow

Dow is a leader in science and technology, providing innovative chemical, plastic and agricultural products and services to many essential consumer markets. With annual sales of $33 billion, Dow serves customers in more than 180 countries and a wide range of markets that are vital to human progress, including food, transportation, health and medicine, personal and home care, and building and construction, among others. Committed to the principles of sustainable development, Dow and its approximately 46,000 employees seek to balance economic, environmental and social responsibilities. References to "Dow" or the "Company" mean The Dow Chemical Company and its consolidated subsidiaries unless otherwise expressly noted.

For further information, visit Dow's Web site at www.dow.com.

About Brewer Science

Founded in 1981, Brewer Science has grown to be the global leader in supplying advanced anti-reflective coatings and specialty materials to microelectronics and optoelectronics manufacturers. Today, with over 300 employees based in six US locations, four European locations and the Far East, Brewer Science is serving the global needs of the world's microelectronic and opto-electronic manufacturers. Since our founding in 1981, Brewer Science has been a privately held company with headquarters located in Rolla, Missouri, United States. Today our global network has expanded to include our European Headquarters located in Derby, England and our Asian Headquarters located in Hong Kong, China. With strong manufacturing, research and development capabilities, as well as our global network of service and support, Brewer Science provides products and services that are comprehensive solutions for our customers.

The diversity of our products addresses the current and future needs of the micro-electronics industry, with materials, processes and machine based solutions.

Chemical Business Group

Our chemical group manufactures products for the semiconductor and the micro-electronics industries:

Anti-Reflective Coatings - ARC® Products
High-performance organic bottom anti-reflective coatings and polymers for integrated circuit fabrication are manufactured by the Anti-Reflective Coating (ARC®) division. Our products are designed for use in the photolithography step of semiconductor manufacturing. Each product is specifically designed to control reflection of light energy from the substrate. This feature improves the photolithography process control by eliminating reflective notching and standing waves, thereby controlling critical dimension variation caused by the exposure light.

Specialty Materials
Brewer Science's Specialty Materials division manufactures novel materials for applications within the optoelectronics and MEMS industries. Products include temporary etch protective coatings, high refractive index polymers, color filter materials, black matrix materials, release layers, passivation layers, planarization (smoothing) layers, alignment layers, embedded masking layers, etc. In addition the Specialty Materials division offers device manufacturing and spin-on material optimization process services with an emphasis on contract prototype development.

Equipment Business Group

Cost Effective Equipment - Cee®
Brewer Science designs and builds of a wide array of spin coat, bake and cure equipment as well as wafer processing systems capable of handling multiple size formats and meeting high-volume demands. Our Cee® product line ranges from R&D laboratory units to small-scale and high-volume production. Applications include processing of wafers, photo masks, disc heads, display glass and custom substrates.

New Business Group

Our New Business Group rises to the task of generating breakthrough technological solutions for emerging challenges combining both business development and technology development as deliverables. The New Business Group uses a team approach to isolating, evaluating, validating and developing new technologies that have the potential to become stand-alone businesses.

Contact Planarization
CON-TACT® is a tool, material set and process for enhancing planarization of topography in the manufacture of semiconductor devices. CON-TACT® consists of an optical flat to press planarity into a malleable substrate that has been placed over topography.  Once hardened, the planar surface can be transferred into the topographic layer by etch or CMP.  If the malleable layer is functional, e.g. BCB, the process is complete and ready for additional processing.

Research and Development Group

Research and Development
Research and development is the cornerstone of developing technologies and products that will provide our current and future customers with innovative solutions to their technical needs. Our expertise in polymeric materials, organic colorants, light absorbing polymers and characterization of polymer thin film electrical properties, allows us to introduce new technologies and products into new markets and provide support to the current product families. For further information visit www.brewerscience.com.

ENSEMBLE dielectric solutions is a Trademark of The Dow Chemical Company.
ARC® is a Registered Trademark of Brewer Science, Incorporated