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).
Airborne contaminants have been shown to cause image degradation to acid-catalyzed chemcially amplified resists at low concentrations. In addition to mitigation measures, choices can be made to remove resist strippers from the DUV fab and eliminate those known to poison the resist. Such choices can be made based on the evaporative alkalinity of the stripper. A method has been developed as a rapid technique for testing the ariborne alkalinity strength of various resist strippers. This screening technique provides rapid information at minimal cost to qualify safe chemical strippers for the DUV fab. Experimental results on resist strippers to include commoditites such as isopropanol, a cyclic ketone, amide, and specialty blends that contain amines as well as a high performance product, GenSolve.
The material make-up of photoresists span a wide polarity range and chemistry. Resists contain reactive components which are photochemically triggered to convert and condense to forms that result in a solubility change. When designing a cleaning process, a knowledge of the resist chemistry is fundamental. A DNQ/novolak system may follow a simple dissolution model under normal conditions. However, when the same resist is sent through a dry etch process, crosslinking and metallic impregnation occurs to form a residue that is insoluble by simple dissolution. The same applies for negative-tone resists, where bonds must be broken and a high chemical interaction is needed to facilitate solvent penetration. Negative resists of different chemistry, such as the benzoin/acrylic, trazine/novolak, and azide/isoprene, must be addressed separately for specific polarity and reactant requirements. When dissolving and removing these crosslinked systems, benefits in formulated chemistries such as GenSolveTM and GenCleanTM are immediately observed. Once the chemistry is identified, conditions can be optimized with process design using temperature, agitation, and rinsing to achieve a robust process with a wide process latitude.