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New Product: Post etch residue remover from Applied Chemical Laboratories cuts time and costs

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Residue SolventProduct Briefing Outline: Applied Chemical Laboratories has introduced ‘ACL-585 HiPER-Solv’ (patents pending), a high performance etch residue solvent that is claimed to realize a significant improvement in removal of post-etch hardened polymers and polymer residue from metal and via etch processes when compared with conventional hydroxylamine or solvent-amine products. ACL-585 is specifically formulated for advanced sub-90 nm design rules that incorporate high density plasma etch. The solvent is new non-corrosive and environmentally benign.

Problem: Advanced DUV resists and ARCs have enabled etch engineers to achieve ultra-fine geometries, and passivation polymers control corrosion and minimize sidewall roughness. However, these inorganic polymers can be difficult to remove without damage to the underlying films. Furthermore, conventional polymer removers require a quenching, post-strip rinse in order to minimize water induced corrosion and collateral film loss. HiPER-Solv requires only a DI water rinse, so secondary solvents such as IPA or proprietary neutralization products are not required.

Solution: HiPER-Solv dissolves hard to remove inorganic or organo-metallic polymers from post-metal and post-via etch layers that is claimed to be 2 to 3 times faster than conventional removers. Cleaning time is said to be reduced to 5 to 10 minutes compared with 20 to 40 minutes required by standard polymer removal recipes. In addition, ACL-585 works at a lower temperature (35°C to 65°C) compared with traditional HA and solvent-amine formulations that require process temperatures from 65°C to 80°C, according to the company. ACL-585’s is claimed to have some forgiving characteristics that enable engineers to design and operate in a larger process window without sacrificing device performance. A key attribute claimed of ACL-585 is that it bridges the aluminum-to-copper transition. This feature enables the chemistry to readily clean polymers from aluminum and copper devices without causing corrosion. With an etch rate of less than 1Å/min for both copper and aluminum and being virtually inert to ultra low-k dielectric films, ACL-585 is claimed to eliminate redundant chemical distribution systems and facilitates multiple integration schemes. Owing to its stable bath life, the efficacy is maintained 2 to 3 times longer than that of hydroxylamine removers. With its lower operating temperature there is a reduction in evaporation loss and a claimed reduction in tool ramp time. ACL-585 also eliminates costly disposal of segregated solvent waste streams associated with the use of hydroxylamine and fluorinated compounds. Requiring only a DI water rinse, this eliminates the cost, handling and disposal of post-strip rinse solutions or IPA. Combined net impact to the fab is cost savings are claimed to be as much as 40 percent compared with traditional remover chemistry.

Applications: ACL-585 is designed for single wafer, batch immersion, and batch spray tool applications.

Platform: ACL-585 is 100 percent water soluble and non-flammable, plus it is free from ethylene glycols, ammonium fluoride, HF, NMP, DMSO, and hydroxylamine. With the spotlight increasingly on “green manufacturing” practices, semiconductor fabs are looking for less harmful and safer materials to replace hazardous chemicals. ACLI products are supplied in certified, low particulate, low metal specialty containers.

Availability: October 2007 onwards.


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