Wet Removal of Post-Etch Residues by a Combination of UV Irradiation and a SC1 Process
In back-end of line processing (BEOL), the polymer deposited on the dielectric sidewalls during the etch process must be removed prior to subsequent processing steps to achieve high adhesion and good coverage of materials deposited in the etched features [1, . Typically, this is done by a combination of a short plasma treatment and a diluted wet clean, or by wet cleans alone. On the one hand, for porous dielectric stacks, a mild plasma treatment that preserves the integrity of the low-k dielectrics would not be sufficient to effectively remove this residue. With regard to wet clean, diluted aqueous solutions (e.g. HF-based) are not efficient for polymer removal without etching the underlying dielectric to lift off the polymer, leading to unacceptable critical dimension (CD) loss. In addition, analytical techniques available for direct characterization of sidewall residues are limited. For a fast screening of potential chemistries capable of dissolving/removing polymer residues generated during the low-k etch, a model fluoropolymer was deposited on a blanket, checkerboard low-k substrate. The present study mainly focused on the characterization of model polymer after deposition (as-deposited) and after immersion in aqueous and solvent-based cleaning solutions. The polymer removal efficiency was influenced/ improved by UV treatments prior to wet clean processes. In the second part of the study, selected UV treatment conditions and cleaning solutions were applied to low-k patterned structures using Angle-resolved X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (AR-XPS) to characterize the dielectric sidewall before and after UV modification and the subsequent cleaning process.
Paul Mertens, Marc Meuris and Marc Heyns
E. Kesters et al., "Wet Removal of Post-Etch Residues by a Combination of UV Irradiation and a SC1 Process", Solid State Phenomena, Vol. 195, pp. 114-118, 2013