Photoresist stripping in IC manufacturing has become more challenging as the number of photoresist levels has increased while at the same time allowable material loss and surface damage has decreased. Heavily implanted photoresist is especially challenging due to the dehydrogenated, amorphous carbon layer that forms on the surface . To facilitate implanted photoresist removal, this layer can be attacked by physical processes such as ion bombardment as part of the common dry ashing approach. However, these physical approaches can lead to surface damage and increased material loss. Another approach is to increase the reactivity of the sulfuric acid – hydrogen peroxide mixture (SPM), so that it can penetrate and dissolve the amorphous carbon layer and achieve complete photoresist removal.