SAN JOSE, Calif., June 16, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Intermolecular, Inc. («Intermolecular»), the trusted partner for materials innovation and a wholly-owned subsidiary of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, today announced the industry’s first quaternary atomic layer deposition (ALD) GeAsSeTe1 OTS device for 3D vertical memory arrays. This breakthrough combination of materials will enable a 3D vertical NVM memory architecture for customers to design chips for high density, high performance computing applications at affordable costs.

«The Intermolecular team has deep expertise in testing, evaluating and discovering materials and innovating devices to solve leading edge customer problems,» said Casper van Oosten, Managing Director, Intermolecular. «Until now, building non-volatile memory in a high-density 3D architecture has been challenging because of the inability to stack tens of layers in a 3D structure, limiting memory density and consequently increasing the cost. This new material combination allows realization of these architectures, paving the way for neuromorphic computing, AI and other new semiconductor designs that are needed for faster and more affordable digital applications, from gaming to data centers.» 

Ovonic Threshold Switch (OTS) devices are commonly used as selector elements in 3D Crosspoint memory arrays. They were currently only limited to a crosspoint architecture due to the absence of conformality of physical vapor deposition (PVD) deposited chalcogenide films. The revolutionary four-element ALD discovery is the result of Intermolecular’s team of materials experts and the company’s depth of experience with precursors, chemistry process and deposition capabilities.

The GeAsSeTe OTS device for 3D vertical memory arrays deliver excellent endurance at 1 billion cycles, fast switching and low threshold voltage (VTH) drift. The introduction and first demonstration of the As element in a 4 element ALD film allows for excellent thermal stability and for the device to operate at high temperatures. Moreover, ALD chalcogenides-based 3D vertical memories change the cost paradigm by making them less dependent on expensive lithography scaling and making them inherently bit cost scalable. It is expected that the future of phase change memories will be driven by the optimization and subsequent adoption of ALD based chalcogenides in high-volume manufacturing (HVM). 

About Intermolecular
Intermolecular is a trusted partner for materials innovation and the Silicon Valley science hub of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany and its Performance Materials business. Intermolecular explores, tests and develops advanced materials that are revolutionizing the next generation of electronics that make lives easier, entertaining and more productive. For more than 15 years, the team, methodologies and quality data have driven impactful outcomes, market opportunities and innovative product designs for customers. 

About Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany
Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, a leading science and technology company, operates across healthcare, life science and performance materials. Around 57,000 employees work to make a positive difference to millions of people’s lives every day by creating more joyful and sustainable ways to live. From advancing gene editing technologies and discovering unique ways to treat the most challenging diseases to enabling the intelligence of devices – the company is everywhere. In 2019, Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, generated sales of € 16.2 billion in 66 countries.

The company holds the global rights to the name and trademark «Merck» internationally. The only exceptions are the United States and Canada, where the business sectors of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany operate as EMD Serono in healthcare, MilliporeSigma in life science, and EMD Performance Materials. Since its founding 1668, scientific exploration and responsible entrepreneurship have been key to the company’s technological and scientific advances. To this day, the founding family remains the majority owner of the publicly listed company.

1 GeAsSeTe= Germanium, Arsenic, Selenium, Tellurium

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SOURCE Intermolecular