In recent years, the worldwide semiconductor market has changed drastically, and it is expected that the digital device market will continue to expand towards general consumer electronics and away from the personal computers that have been the core of the market. To accommodate this shift, the new devices will be diversified with improved productivity, higher process yield, and higher precision. Clean Track (LITHIUS) design also has been changed drastically to maintain equal productivity with new high throughput exposure equipment. Design changes include increasing the number of processing chambers by stacking reduced size modules in order to meet high throughput and small footprint requirements. However, this design change concept raises concerns about increased wafer-to-wafer
difference (WtW) and module-to-module different (MtM). These variations can result in lower process yield and have a negative effect on design rule shrinkage. The primary causes of WtW difference and MtM difference stem from minute module hardware variations, module height differences, and module parameter adjustment differences during the installation of the tool. Previous Clean Track development focused mainly on reduction of module hardware difference as an approach to reduce WtW variation. However, to further improve lot level uniformity, it is necessary to reduce module height difference factors within the system and module adjustment disparities such as plate temperature calibrations. Highly temperature sensitive ArF processes have necessitated precise manual PEB temperature adjustments. These calibrations are labor intensive and require many field hours to ensure optimal CD uniformity. Therefore, an auto temperature measurement and adjustment tool is
developed to eliminate the human error due to manual adjustment and minimize adjustment time. In order to meet demands for design rules shrinkage and increased process uniformity we minimized the WtW and MtM difference by using thermal history adjustment and transfer time control. This method is also used to improve within wafer CD control technology resulting in a more stable process. In this report, we introduce improved features to reduce WtW and MtM variation and their effect on CD uniformity with 193nm (ArF) resist and 248nm (KrF) resist.