Semiconductor device manufacturing is one of the cleanest manufacturing operations that can be found in the world today. It has to be that way; a particle on a wafer today can kill an entire device, which raises the costs, and therefore reduces the profits, of the manufacturing company in two ways: it must produce extra wafers to make up for the lost die, and it has less product to sell.
In today's state-of-the-art fab, everything is filtered to the lowest pore size available. This practice is fairly easy for gases because a gas molecule is very small compared to the pore size of the filter. Filtering liquids, especially photochemicals such as photoresists and BARCs, can be much harder because the molecules that form the polymers used to manufacture the photochemicals are approaching the filter pore size. As a result, filters may plug up, filtration rates may drop, pressure drops across the filter may increase, or a filter may degrade. These conditions can then cause polymer shearing, microbubble formation, gel particle formation, and BARC chemical changes to occur before the BARC reaches the wafer.
To investigate these possible interactions, an Entegris(R) IntelliGen(R) pump was installed on a TEL Mk8<sup>TM</sup> track to see if the filtration process would have an effect on the BARC chemistry and coating defects. Various BARC chemicals such as DUV112 and DUV42P were pumped through various filter media having a variety of pore sizes at different filtration rates to investigate the interaction between the dispense process and the filtration process. The IntelliGen2 pump has the capability to filter the BARC independent of the dispense process. By using a designed experiment to look at various parameters such as dispense rate, filtration rate, and dispense volume, the effects of the complete pump system can be learned, and appropriate conditions can be applied to yield the cleanest BARC coating process. Results indicate that filtration rate and filter pore size play a dramatic role in the defect density on a coated wafer with the actual dispense properties such as dispense wafer speed and dispense time playing a lesser role.