EUV Infrastructure: EUV photomask backside cleaning
Applied Materials as first author: Bruce J. Fender, Dusty Leonhard, Hugo Breuer, Jack Stoof
ASML: My Phung Van, Rudy Pellens, Reinout Dekkers, Jan Pieter Kuijten
Due to electrostatic chucking of the backside of EUV masks, backside cleanliness in EUV lithography is an important factor. Contamination on the backside can cause damage to reticle (e-chuck), cross-contaminate to the scanner or cause local distortions in the reticle. Cleaning of the masks offers a solution to reduce the defectivity level on reticles. However, repeated cleaning on masks is known to have an impact on absorber, CD and reflectivity. Ideally, cleaning should occur without any alterations to the critical features on the front side of the mask. With the introduction of pellicles for EUV, there could be an additional drive for backside-only cleaning.
In this work the GuardianTM Technology is introduced that enables backside cleaning without any cleaning impact on the reticle front side through a protective seal at the outer edge of the mask. The seal protects the front side during the backside clean. The cleaning process encompasses a single-sided pre-clean oxygen plasma treatment of the mask surface, followed by sonic cleaning, and ending with a rinse and dry step. Separating the mask backside from front side enables:
• Backside cleaning without any cleaning impact on features on the mask front side.
• The isolation allows an aggressive cleaning of the backside to ensure defect removal.
• Processing of reticle with studs on the front side. This prevents unnecessary actions of stud removal and removal of the remaining glue after stud removal and subsequent gluing of the studs after cleaning.
Just before chucking of a reticle, the defectivity level on the mask is initially inspected with an in-scanner reticle backside inspection tool. The GuardianTM cleaning process is able to remove the vast majority of the cleanable defects that could impact scanner performance. Post GuardianTM clean interferometric microscope defect review reveals the remaining defects > 25-μm-PSL are ~78% are indent/damage and 11% are defects with insignificant height to impact scanner performance or cleanliness.
Many BEOL semiconductor applications require vertical wall patterns to produce thick metallic structures. To achieve these plated or etched topographies, the resist must endure severe chemical and thermal exposures. Negative-tone resists of the acrylic and acrylic-styrene resin varieties are common choices. One spin-on applied product includes Shipley BPR 100 photoresist, manufactured by Rohm and Haas Electronic Materials, L.L.C. Successful integration requires an aggressive stripper to rapidly dissolve the resin, yet protect the metal. GenSolve 475, produced by General Chemical, achieves these goals, cycle after cycle, in a closed-loop spray system that filters and delivers the stripper back onto the wafer. The resist is dissolved in minutes, even at moderate temperatures, as demonstrated in Semitool’s spray solvent platform, Scepter. Using GenSolve 475, the Scepter dissolves away cured Shipley BPR 100 resist from >50um in-via or mushroom copper studs, water rinses, and spin-dries wafers in a nitrogen environment. The Semitool platform can process 300mm wafers with a total dry-to-dry process time of <30min, corresponding to >100wph throughput in single or >200wph with dual chambers. Metal safety is proven by SEM, profilometry, and ESCA, by observing Cu etch rates of <30 Å/min and conversion of surface Cu(II) to Cu(I).