Hanwha Precision Machinery has been working on a new thermal atomic layer deposition (ALD) equipment designed for wafer fabrication, capable of depositing molybdenum, as reported by the Korean source TheElec.

Molybdenum, exhibiting lower resistivity compared to tungsten and leaving no fluoride residue post-deposition, is being considered as a material for metal gates in future semiconductor applications. Both Samsung and SK Hynix are evaluating its use in their Gen 7 1dnm DRAM production, while Micron plans to adopt it from its Gen 6 1cnm DRAM onwards.

However, deposition of molybdenum presents challenges due to its solid state as a precursor, unlike tungsten hexafluoride. Hanwha's solution to this hurdle involves utilizing thermal ALD, employing molybdenum dichloride dioxide (MoO2Cl2) as a precursor heated between 600℃ and 650℃, as detailed in a published paper that references the company's prototype machine, named I2FIT-Mo.

Sources indicate that the current machine remains in the prototype stage, with expected commercialization taking at least three years due to the technological intricacies and the necessity to meet customer quality standards.

In parallel, Hanwha is engaged in collaboration with SK Hynix for the development of hybrid bonding equipment, potentially for future high bandwidth memory chip production applications.

While previously focusing on chip mounters and other electronics production equipment, Hanwha Precision Machinery has recently ventured into the fab equipment market.