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18 March 2009 Removal of contaminants by plasma assisted cleaning by metastable atom neutralization (PACMAN)
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Abstract
For the continued advancement of lithography, specifically extreme ultraviolet lithography (EUVL), particle contamination on the photomask and the subsequent removal of these particles is of critical importance. Particle contamination on the photomasks can result in defects printed on devices and their subsequent failure and/or process throughput reduction. A new idea for the removal of these particles is to utilize the energy in metastable species in a plasma. In a laboratory or processing plasma where ionization fraction is relatively low, there exists metastable species with long lifetimes that have significant energy, in some cases on the order of ~20 eV. Through a combined process of ion bombardment as well as the energy transferred from the neutralization of the metastable species, particles on a surface can be reduced to volatile compounds which can be pumped off of the surface thus reducing the particle contamination on the surface. Preliminary results for the removal of polystyrene latex (PSL) nano particles on low resistivity silicon wafers have shown approximately 20 nm/min removal rates. The removal rate obtained through the use of the PACMAN technique is much faster compared to just metastable cleaning alone. The current results of the removal of particles via the PACMAN technique will be presented as well as a damage assessment if any caused by this process.
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W. M. Lytle, D. S. Szybilski, C. E. Das, R. Raju, and D. N. Ruzic "Removal of contaminants by plasma assisted cleaning by metastable atom neutralization (PACMAN)", Proc. SPIE 7271, Alternative Lithographic Technologies, 72713C (18 March 2009); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.813184
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