SEZ equipment helping to develop advanced copper applications

Villach, Austria–The SEZ Group recently announced that a semiconductor industry applications development center is using its Spin-Process equipment to perform copper decontamination and pre-lithography cleans for customers seeking to integrate copper and low-k into their devices. As the result of its participation, SEZ will have the opportunity to offer wafer decontamination and its accompanying yield improvement to companies that are developing their copper/low-k products.

“As the industry transitions to the larger wafer size and increased critical process steps, it is recognizing the need for single-wafer processing and wafer backside decontamination,” explains Herwig Petschnig, SEZ’s chief operating officer. “In previous technology nodes, the wafer backside did not have a significant impact on process yield and performance. However, as the industry moves into copper/low-k, the need to ensure the cleanliness of the wafer backside and overall wafer flatness becomes extremely important to ensure device yields.”

SEZ’s copper interconnect fabrication process knowledge is being used to develop and evaluate a complete copper damascene process flow. Characterization of the effects of copper contamination on all levels of the sub-180-nm device structures will be compiled for multiple customers.

SEZ already has placed a Spin-Processor 203, a 200mm system, at the development center, and plans to deliver a Spin-Processor 304, a 300mm system, this month.

The Spin-Processor 203 and 304 models are configured to use up to three different chemical solutions in a programmable sequence for processing wafers in a single process cycle with an additional DI-water rinse and N2 dry, according to the company. Applications include photolithography yield enhancement, back surface metal clean and film removal, copper contamination elimination, wafer thinning, and stress relief.


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