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Proceedings Paper

Characterization of sub-0.18-um critical dimension pattern collapse for yield improvement
Author(s): Tom X. Zhong; Emir Gurer; Ed C. Lee; Hong Bai; Bill Gendron; Murthy S. Krishna; Reese M. Reynolds
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Paper Abstract

In this study, we demonstrate that surface-resist interface interactions are becoming more crucial in DUV lithography as we enter deep into the sub-wavelength era of smaller critical dimension (CD) size and high aspect ratio. This interaction reveals itself as an adhesion reduction of the resist film due to the smaller contact area between the feature and the substrate. Considerable yield improvements in a manufacturing environment can be realized if pattern collapsing of smaller features is prevented by means of proper priming. In addition, next generation photoresist processing equipments must be able to deliver excellent on-wafer results with minimum chemical consumption as environmental health and safety (EHS) requirements are better appreciated in the marketplace. HMDS is not only highly toxic but it is also a prime threat to CD control of most deep ultra violet (DUV) photoresists used for sub-0.18 micrometer design rules. The by-product NH3 created during priming process with HMDS can neutralize the photo-acid created during the exposure step. There are many technical opportunities in this usually neglected priming process step. In this study, we characterized sub-0.18 micrometer isolated line pattern collapse for UV5 resist on bare Si wafers by using a scanning electron microscope (SEM). The smallest line width printability on wafers primed with different contact angles was analyzed by using both top down and cross section SEM images. Our results show that there is a strong effect of substrate surface and film interface interaction on device yields. More specifically, there is a strong correlation between pattern integrity of features down to 115 nm and vapor prime process conditions. In general, wafers with higher contact angle can support smaller line widths. These results suggest that higher contact angle than the current specification will be required for sub-0.1 micrometer design rule for improved yield. An alternative material to HMDS will probably be needed due to more stringent future requirements and weak bonding characteristics of HMDS. Based on the result of this study, we propose an HMDS consumption reduction scheme for line-widths above 0.2 micrometer. There are many priming-related modular and system level technical enhancements that can be designed in the next generation photoresist processing tools in order to extend 248 nm lithography towards smaller feature sizes.

Paper Details

Date Published: 3 September 1999
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 3882, Process, Equipment, and Materials Control in Integrated Circuit Manufacturing V, (3 September 1999); doi: 10.1117/12.361304
Show Author Affiliations
Tom X. Zhong, Silicon Valley Group, Inc. (United States)
Emir Gurer, Silicon Valley Group, Inc. (United States)
Ed C. Lee, Silicon Valley Group, Inc. (United States)
Hong Bai, Silicon Valley Group, Inc. (United States)
Bill Gendron, Silicon Valley Group, Inc. (United States)
Murthy S. Krishna, Silicon Valley Group, Inc. (United States)
Reese M. Reynolds, Silicon Valley Group, Inc. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 3882:
Process, Equipment, and Materials Control in Integrated Circuit Manufacturing V
Anthony J. Toprac; Kim Dang, Editor(s)

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