Low-κ films:

Dielectric constant (κ): Measures the ability of a substance to insulate a charge from other substances.

Low-κ (low dielectric constant) films are commonly used as insulators because of their ability to prevent crosstalk on integrated circuits (ICs). This low dielectric constant allows for fast switching speeds and more components within a single chip when compared to silicon dioxide.

Because of its high electrical insulating properties, it is the driving force behind Moore’s law, which claims that circuits shrink in size by half every two years.

This film is an alternative to silicon dioxide (thermal oxide) because it has many of the same insulating properties. If 2 wafers have the same film thickness of both silicon dioxide and a low-k dielectric, the dielectric film will have superior switching speeds and heat dissipation.

Depending on your projects requirements, it may worth discussing with your salesperson if a low-k dielectric might be a better alternative than wet or dry thermal oxidation.

Typical Low-κ application methods:

Chemical vapor deposition (CVD): κ values >2.5

Spin-On: κ values < 2.5, porous films (< 65nm)


Black Diamond I & II

Produced by Applied Materials

Chemical formula: SiCOH

Κ= 2.7 – 3.3

This low-κ film is produced by introducing -CH3 to a silica substrate to produce a hybrid dielectric material, SiOC:H.

This is fabricated using CVD near room temperature with an organosilane precursor along with oxygen and nitrous oxide as an oxidant instead of hydrogen peroxide.

Black Diamond low-κ coatings are beneficial because the substrate will be able to maintain the same thermo-mechanical properties as silicon oxide, with much faster switching speeds and improved insulation.



Produced by Lam Research (formerly Novellus)

Κ= <3.0

Coral Low-κ films are based on a combination of tetramethyl silate and tetramethylcyclotetrasiloxane (TOMCATS), and is applied to wafers via a patented method similar to chemical vapor deposition. These films are also up to three times better than alternative methods at blocking copper, which means an even thinner layer can be used.

The ultra-thin film produced is up to 10 times harder than spin-on application methods and twice as hard as typical CVD films, with better adhesion properties.

Silicon Valley Microelectronics offers all low-κ films on all wafer diameters. For more information or to request a quote, please CONTACT SVM to speak with an experienced member of our team, or visit our ONLINE INVENTORY.