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SCREEN Receives SSDM Young Researcher Award at SSDM 2021

September 10, 2021

Doc. No.: SPE210910E

Kyoto, Japan – September 10, 2021 – SCREEN Semiconductor Solutions Co., Ltd. (SCREEN SPE) has been honored with a Young Researcher Award* at the 2021 International Conference on Solid State Devices and Materials for a paper it presented at last year’s event. The conference, held over a four-day period from September 6 (Mon), was sponsored by the Japan Society of Applied Physics.


Now in its 53rd year, the International Conference on Solid State Devices and Materials (SSDM) has become one of the world’s most highly regarded events in its area, particularly as a forum that provides an opportunity for researchers to officially announce their latest results. SSDM covers a wide spectrum of topics related to semiconductor devices and materials, and also includes interdisciplinary and emerging research fields.

Twelve areas of focus have been set for the conference and lively discussions usually develop between the representatives from academia, industry and government attending the event. However, SSDM 2021 was held online as a virtual conference due to travel restrictions, health and safety concerns and other factors related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

At each SSDM, three categories of award are presented to authors who have released outstanding papers. This year, SPE received an SSDM Young Researcher Award for a study it presented at the event in 2020. Co-authored with the University of Hyogo, the paper was titled Millisecond Post Deposition Annealing for Improving the EOT and Dit in TiN/HfO2/SiO2/Si Gate Stacks Using Flash Lamp Annealing.

In recent years, thermal budget management has become a crucial issue for gate stacks in relation to the high-k last integration processes currently used mainstream in semiconductor manufacturing. Additionally, based on the latest semiconductor roadmap, the introduction of SiGe/Ge channels and 3D stacking for future sub-5 nm nodes is expected to create even more severe limitations on the thermal budget. As a result, the development of low thermal budget processes for gate stacks will become increasingly important as work on devices and materials progresses.

Against this background, SPE’s paper demonstrated significant improvements in the equivalent oxide thickness (EOT) and interface state density (Dit) for TiN, HfO2, SiO2 and Si gate stacks using post-deposition flash lamp annealing. The paper also showed that densification of the dielectrics leads to EOT scaling and that the pre-heating temperature of the halogen lamp before flash irradiation is a key parameter for improving Dit. These results clearly suggest this method has the potential to improve gate stacks while maintaining a low thermal budget.

Going forward, SCREEN SPE is committed to driving further technological innovation, including in the areas introduced in its recently recognized paper. These efforts will enable the company to respond to its customers’ requirements for ever increasing sophistication, diversification and energy efficiency in a wide range of areas. SCREEN SPE remains focused on supporting the future growth of the semiconductor industry as a leading manufacturer of equipment in this field.

* This award is given to young researchers who have shown exceptional ability in their work as well as in their oral presentation and response to questions at SSDM. Recipients are also expected to show further growth as researchers in the future. Eligibility is limited to those who are 33 years old or younger as of April 1 of the year following the relevant conference.