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The most simply process uses pure in a downstream plasma reactor.
In this case the wafer temperature is of siginficant importance, as the
process must be additionally thermally activated. To get some reasonable
ashing rates () for single wafer treatment temperatures of at least
are required. The same process is carried out also in barrel
reactors using lower temperatures. Throughput increases linear with
temperature, but above appr. 250- the resist starts to burn
(reticulate), practically limiting temperatue. A huge benefit of the pure
process is its nearly infinite selectivity to Si, , Al and other important
materials used in semiconductor manufacturing. But there is one important
exception, low-k materials. Here problems with k value changes or
side wall bowing might happen.
For the above mentioned process some nitrogen addition can increase the
ashing rate. This is sometimes attributed to the fact that the lifetime of
the oxygen radicals is increased when nitrogen is present in the discharge.
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