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Catalytic steam-generation system for advanced semiconductor processing

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Mohamed Saleem, Mathew Milburn & Sowmya Krishnan, Ultra Clean Technology, Menlo Park, CA Anindita Chatterji, Billy Cho, Joe Sisson & Bob Herring, ASML Thermal Division, Scotts Valley, CA


Several semiconductor processing steps, such as rapid thermal processing (RTP), oxidation, photoresist strip/ashing, post-metal etch passivation, utilize steam to accelerate growth rates or removal rates. In RTP and oxidation processes, the use of steam as a process gas provides the ability to grow thin, highquality dense oxides that have fewer defects and exhibit low interfacial stresses. In photoresist strip processes, controlled addition of a small amount of steam has been shown to improve the ashing rates and facilitate the removal of sidewall residues. The passivation of post-metal etch structures, accomplished using water vapor, is critical for preventing corrosion and metal line-loss in deep sub-micrometer processes. The performance of a catalytic steam generation system is evaluated in selective oxidation and wet oxidation processes in a furnace.

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