Silica aerogel/xerogel (known as nanoporous silica) has numerous properties, which make it ideal
for use as a low dielectric constant material (1.1<K<2.5) for interlevel dielectrics (ILD's).
Advantages of these materials, in addition to low dielectric constant, include high temperature stability, pores
much smaller than microelectronics feature sizes, deposition using conventional spin-on and vapor deposition
methods, and precursors similar to those currently used in the microelectronic
As integrated circuit sizes decrease below 0.25 microns, device performance will no longer
improve at the same rate as for past generations because of RC interconnect delay, which becomes significant as
compared to the intrinsic gate delay. One approach to address this is to use a lower resistance metal.
For example: copper instead of aluminum. Another approach is to use a dielectric material with a dielectric
constant significantly below that of dense silica (~4). Thin films of nanoporous silica are ideal candidates
for the low dielectric constant material and this was the motivation for the development of NANOGLASS™
Texas Instruments and Motorola have both demonstrated successful integration of nanoporous silica thin films in
their copper damascene process.
It is predicted that this breakthrough will lead to microprocessors
that are at least 10 times faster and use much less power than today's most powerful chips.
NanoPore has developed the NANOGLASS™ family of nanoporous silica precursors for this application.
Several versions (different K, thickness, etc.) are currently in test marketing by NANOGLASS™
LLC (a wholly owned subsidiary of Honeywell and formerly, a 50/50 joint venture between Honeywell/ AlliedSignal
For more information on NANOGLASS™, please visit Honeywell Electronic Materials
If you would like to obtain more information or to request reprints of technical
publications, please contact us at