Immersion lithography has been developed for 45nm technology node generation during the last several years. Currently, IC manufacturers are moving to high volume production using immersion lithography. Due to the demand of IC manufactures, as the critical dimension (CD) target size is shrinking, there are more stringent requirements for CD
Post Exposure Bake (PEB) process, which is the polymer de-protection process after exposure, is one of the important processes to control the CD in the 193nm immersion lithography cluster. Because of the importance of the PEB process for CD uniformity, accurate temperature control is a high priority. Tokyo Electron LTD (TEL) has been studying the temperature control of PEB plates. From our investigation, total thermal history during the PEB process is a key point for controlling intra wafer and inter wafer CD . Further, production wafers are usually warped, which leads to a nonuniform thermal energy distribution during the PEB process. So, it is necessary to correct wafer warpage during the baking process in order to achieve accurate CD control on production wafers. TEL has developed a new PEB plate for 45nm technology node mass production, which is able to correct wafer warpage. The new PEB plate succeeded in
controlling the wafer temperature on production wafers using its warpage control function.
In this work, we evaluated CD process capability using the wafer warpage control PEB plate, which is mounted on a
CLEAN TRACKTM LITHIUS ProTM-i (TEL) linked with the latest immersion exposure tool. The evaluation was performed together with an IC manufacturer on their 45nm production substrates in order to determine the true performance in production.