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3 June 1998 Laser cleaning of silicon surfaces
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The continuing trend towards miniaturization of integrated circuits requires increasing efforts and new concepts to clean wafer surfaces from dust particles. We report here about our studies of the `steam laser cleaning' process first described by Tam and coworkers. In order to remove submicron particles from a surface, first a thin liquid layer is condensed onto the substrate from the gas phase, and is subsequently evaporated momentarily by irradiating the surface with a short laser pulse. We have investigated the nucleation and growth of gas bubbles in the liquid, by which the whole process is started, with optical techniques like light scattering and surface plasmon resonance spectroscopy. The experiments indicate that the temperature where nucleation sets in is surprisingly low, which facilitates the application of this phenomenon for cleaning purposes. On the basis of these results and in order to study the cleaning effect for the particularly interesting surface of silicon in a quantitative way, we have deposited well-characterized spherical polymer and silica particles of different diameters from several ten to hundred nanometers on commercial Si wafers and have studied systematically the cleaning efficiency of the explosive evaporation process. The results show that steam laser cleaning is a promising and suitable method for removing sub-micron particles from semiconductor surfaces.
© (1998) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Paul Leiderer, Johannes Boneberg, Mario Mosbacher, Andreas Schilling, and Oguz Yavas "Laser cleaning of silicon surfaces", Proc. SPIE 3274, Laser Applications in Microelectronic and Optoelectronic Manufacturing III, (3 June 1998);


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