17 December 2003 Defect printability for high-exposure dose advanced packaging applications
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Abstract
Pellicles are used in semiconductor lithography to minimize printable defects and reduce reticle cleaning frequency. However, there are a growing number of microlithography applications, such as advanced packaging and nanotechnology, where it is not clear that pellicles always offer a significant benefit. These applications have relatively large critical dimensions and require ultra thick photoresists with extremely high exposure doses. Given that the lithography is performed in Class 100 cleanroom conditions, it is possible that the risk of defects from contamination is sufficiently low that pellicles would not be required on certain process layer reticles. The elimination of the pellicle requirement would provide a cost reduction by saving the original pellicle cost and eliminating future pellicle replacement and repair costs. This study examines the imaging potential of defects with reticle patterns and processes typical for gold-bump and solder-bump advanced packaging lithography. The test reticle consists of 30 to 90 μm octagonal contact patterns representative of advanced packaging reticles. Programmed defects are added that represent the range of particle sizes (3 to 30 μm) normally protected by the pellicle and that are typical of advanced packaging lithography cleanrooms. The reticle is exposed using an Ultratech Saturn Spectrum 300e2 1X stepper on wafers coated with a variety of ultra thick (30 to 100 μm) positive and negative-acting photoresists commonly used in advanced packaging. The experimental results show that in many cases smaller particles continue to be yield issues for the feature size and density typical of advanced packaging processes. For the two negative photoresists studied it appears that a pellicle is not required for protection from defects smaller than 10 to 15 μm depending on the photoresist thickness. Thus the decision on pellicle usage for these materials would need to be made based on the device fabrication process and the cleanliness of a fabrication facility. For the two positive photoresists studied it appears that a pellicle is required to protect from defects down to 3 μm defects depending on the photoresist thickness. This suggests that a pellicle should always be used for these materials. Since a typical fabrication facility would use both positive and negative photoresists it may be advantageous to use pellicles on all reticles simply to avoid confusion. The cost savings of not using a pellicle could easily be outweighed by the yield benefits of using one.
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Max Mikles, Warren Flack, Ha-Ai Nguyen, Dan Schurz, "Defect printability for high-exposure dose advanced packaging applications", Proc. SPIE 5256, 23rd Annual BACUS Symposium on Photomask Technology, (17 December 2003); doi: 10.1117/12.518160; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.518160
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