US-based memory manufacturer Voltaix has partnered in a significant new investment with Linde Electronics for an ultra-high purity disilane plant in Upper Mount Bethel Township, PA.

The investment is seen as Linde Electronics strengthening its commitment to the memory manufacturing sector.

The plant is owned by Voltaix, with Linde partnering the company to facilitate the production of next-generation NAND flash memory chips, which requires high volumes of disilane (Si2H6).

The increasing functionality and improving performance of devices such as smartphones and tablets generates a demand for larger NAND and Dynamic Random Access Memory (DRAM) memory capacity. The fabrication of these advanced memory chips involves ever-smaller critical dimensions, which leads to challenges in the deposition of ultra-thin amorphous or polycrystalline silicon films.

Several new materials are being adopted by the industry to ensure good continuity and smoothness in these films. One such material is disilane, which offers a substantial process improvement over traditionally used monosilane in the deposition of high-quality silicon films of thickness less than 5nm, including the further advantage of allowing lower deposition temperatures.

Investment in the Voltaix facility, which has an annual capacity of 40 tonnes, will enable the ramp-up of production of advanced NAND flash and DRAM chips to meet fast growing industry demand. It will also provide Linde with significant capacity to supply disilane for several years and meet the anticipated growth in disilane demand as device sizes shrink below 20nm.