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Dow Electronic Materials Develops Tin CVD Precursor for New Electronic Devices

PHILADELPHIA--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Dow Electronic Materials, a business unit of Dow Advanced Materials, today announced the introduction of a stannic chloride precursor, the first industrially-viable, electronic-grade tin precursor for the generation of germanium tin (GeSn) films for electronics. Until now, production of GeSn by chemical vapor deposition (CVD) has been limited to R&D-scale use because only specialized and cost-prohibitive precursors have been available.

Tin-containing materials are currently in demand as the electronics industry looks for ways to increase the speed of transistors. In response, Dow Electronic Materials has introduced an electronic grade of a tin CVD precursor, stannic chloride, which has been successfully used by imec for the growth of germanium tin for use in stressors, high-mobility channels and other features of future semiconductor devices.

“We are very pleased that we found a tin precursor that enables the industrial production of GeSn for future generation electronic devices” says Egbert Woelk, Technology and Applications Manager at Dow Electronic Materials. “Together with our VAPORSTATION™ Central Delivery System, we have a turn-key solution to deliver our new tin precursor to any CVD tool on the market. This removes all barriers to using the new GeSn CVD process on a large scale in the latest generation CVD tools.” In the past GeSn CVD was limited to using deuterated stannane, SnD4, which is costly to make and not available on a commercial basis.

Silicon germanium (SiGe) is a desirable material for electronics and optoelectronics manufacturers, and the addition of tin increases the speed of transistors made from this material. There is a growing interest in thin germanium or germanium-silicon materials containing tin to enhance semiconductor structures, such as the high-mobility channel that conducts current in transistors, and photonic devices, such as LEDs.

The viability of Dow’s material has been confirmed in a new CVD process developed by the Belgium-based nanoelectronics research center imec. Using stannic chloride supplied by Dow Electronic Materials, imec has demonstrated the material’s viability in an industrial CVD process, overcoming the barrier of tin’s propensity to etch deposited material. Imec has produced high-content germanium tin epitaxial films (>8% tin content) with outstanding electronic and structural quality. [B. Vincent et al., Appl. Phys. Lett. 99, 152103 (2011).] According to imec, the CVD grown GeSn layer can also be used as a high-mobility channel material on germanium. A strained GeSn channel on germanium is also a possible candidate to be used in the device channel of future Ge-based metal-oxide semiconductor field-effect transistor (MOSFET) devices.

“The CVD growth of GeSn with commercially-available precursors will boost the research on high-mobility MOSFETs,” says Roger Loo, R&D Manager at imec. “Besides, it opens new routes for group-IV semiconductors research in other fields, such as photonics (having indirect-to-direct-bandgap transition expected for about 10% Sn incorporated in monocrystalline GeSn alloys) and photovoltaics (ternary SiGeSn alloys). The good results that we achieved with stannic chloride precursor convince us to continue our successful collaboration with Dow Electronic Materials,” adds Loo.

Imec recently presented the results of their development work at The 2nd GeSn Workshop: GeSn Developments for Future Applications, which was held in conjunction with the 7th International Conference on Si Epitaxy and Heterostructures 2011 in Leuven, Belgium.

About Dow Electronic Materials

Dow Electronic Materials, a global supplier of materials and technologies to the electronics industry, brings innovative leadership to the semiconductor, interconnect, finishing, photovoltaic, display, LED and optics markets. From advanced technology centers worldwide, teams of talented Dow research scientists and application experts work closely with customers, providing solutions, products and technical service necessary for next-generation electronics. These partnerships energize Dow’s power to invent. Its key end-use applications include a broad range of consumer electronics from personal computers, to television monitors, cellular phones, global positioning systems, automobile safety systems, and avionics.

About The Dow Chemical Company

Dow (NYSE: Dow) combines the power of science and technology with the “Human Element” to passionately innovate what is essential to human progress. The Company connects chemistry and innovation with the principles of sustainability to help address many of the world’s most challenging problems such as the need for clean water, renewable energy generation and conservation, and increasing agricultural productivity. Dow’s diversified industry-leading portfolio of specialty chemical, advanced materials, agrosciences and plastics businesses delivers a broad range of technology-based products and solutions to customers in approximately 160 countries and in high growth sectors such as electronics, water, energy, coatings and agriculture. In 2010, Dow had annual sales of $53.7 billion and employed approximately 50,000 people worldwide. The Company’s more than 5,000 products are manufactured at 188 sites in 35 countries across the globe. References to "Dow" or the "Company" mean The Dow Chemical Company and its consolidated subsidiaries unless otherwise expressly noted. More information about Dow can be found at

About imec

Imec performs world-leading research in nanoelectronics. Imec leverages its scientific knowledge with the innovative power of its global partnerships in ICT, healthcare and energy. Imec delivers industry-relevant technology solutions. In a unique high-tech environment, its international top talent is committed to providing the building blocks for a better life in a sustainable society. Imec is headquartered in Leuven, Belgium, and has offices in Belgium, the Netherlands, Taiwan, US, China, India and Japan. Its staff of about 1,900 people includes more than 500 industrial residents and guest researchers. In 2010, imec's revenue (P&L) was 285 million euro. Further information on imec can be found at

Imec is a registered trademark for the activities of IMEC International (a legal entity set up under Belgian law as a "stichting van openbaar nut”), imec Belgium (IMEC vzw supported by the Flemish Government), imec the Netherlands (Stichting IMEC Nederland, part of Holst Centre which is supported by the Dutch Government), imec Taiwan (IMEC Taiwan Co.) and imec China (IMEC Microelectronics (Shanghai) Co. Ltd.) and imec India (Imec India Private Limited).

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The Dow Chemical Company
Jeremy Cole
Tel: +1 (508)229-7047