Microbubble in filtering Tetra Methyl Ammonium Hydroxide (TMAH) were counted to find the filter which generates the lowest microbubble in resist development process. Hydrophilic Highly Asymmetric Poly Aryl Sulfone (HAPAS) filter was developed and tested. The result showed that generation of microbubbles was as low as that of the Nylon 6,6 filter which had the best performance to date.
Microbubbles in TARC are counted using the same method as the developer testing described above except for mainstream flow rate and the counter model. The results show that counts in the small channel could be reduced by smaller pore size filter such as conventional 0.02um rated filter. However, counts in the larger channel could be reduced by larger pore size filter such as 0.1um rated filter. Based on the above results, 0.02um rated asymmetric nylon 6,6 filter was developed. As a result, 0.02um rated asymmetric Nylon 6,6 filter achieved relatively lower count at any channel as compared to the standard 0.04um rated Nylon 6,6 filter.
Nylon 6,6 filters were installed in resist as an improvement for preventive maintenance (PM) at Wafertech, L.L.C. instead of the currently used filter which has more hydrophobic membrane material. Using the Nylon 6,6 membrane, the number of defects immediately after filter change greatly decreased from 493 pcs of the more hydrophobic filter to 6 pcs/wafer, then after purging with about 250ml, the number of defects reduced within the process specification while the more hydrophobic filter had required 2L purging and 12-36 hours of PM time.