KR102006059B1 - Cover plate for defect control in spin coating process - Google Patents

Cover plate for defect control in spin coating process Download PDF

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Publication number
KR102006059B1
KR102006059B1 KR1020167025698A KR20167025698A KR102006059B1 KR 102006059 B1 KR102006059 B1 KR 102006059B1 KR 1020167025698 A KR1020167025698 A KR 1020167025698A KR 20167025698 A KR20167025698 A KR 20167025698A KR 102006059 B1 KR102006059 B1 KR 102006059B1
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South Korea
Prior art keywords
substrate
surface
fluid flow
flow member
ring
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KR1020167025698A
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Korean (ko)
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KR20160125429A (en
Inventor
데렉 더블유. 바셋
월리스 피. 프린츠
조슈아 에스. 후게
가츠노리 이치노
유이치 데라시타
고우스케 요시하라
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도쿄엘렉트론가부시키가이샤
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Priority to PCT/US2014/018054 priority Critical patent/WO2015126425A1/en
Publication of KR20160125429A publication Critical patent/KR20160125429A/en
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    • HELECTRICITY
    • H01BASIC ELECTRIC ELEMENTS
    • H01LSEMICONDUCTOR DEVICES; ELECTRIC SOLID STATE DEVICES NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • H01L21/00Processes or apparatus adapted for the manufacture or treatment of semiconductor or solid state devices or of parts thereof
    • H01L21/67Apparatus specially adapted for handling semiconductor or electric solid state devices during manufacture or treatment thereof; Apparatus specially adapted for handling wafers during manufacture or treatment of semiconductor or electric solid state devices or components ; Apparatus not specifically provided for elsewhere
    • H01L21/67005Apparatus not specifically provided for elsewhere
    • H01L21/67011Apparatus for manufacture or treatment
    • H01L21/6715Apparatus for applying a liquid, a resin, an ink or the like
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B05SPRAYING OR ATOMISING IN GENERAL; APPLYING LIQUIDS OR OTHER FLUENT MATERIALS TO SURFACES, IN GENERAL
    • B05DPROCESSES FOR APPLYING LIQUIDS OR OTHER FLUENT MATERIALS TO SURFACES, IN GENERAL
    • B05D1/00Processes for applying liquids or other fluent materials
    • B05D1/002Processes for applying liquids or other fluent materials the substrate being rotated
    • B05D1/005Spin coating
    • GPHYSICS
    • G03PHOTOGRAPHY; CINEMATOGRAPHY; ANALOGOUS TECHNIQUES USING WAVES OTHER THAN OPTICAL WAVES; ELECTROGRAPHY; HOLOGRAPHY
    • G03FPHOTOMECHANICAL PRODUCTION OF TEXTURED OR PATTERNED SURFACES, e.g. FOR PRINTING, FOR PROCESSING OF SEMICONDUCTOR DEVICES; MATERIALS THEREFOR; ORIGINALS THEREFOR; APPARATUS SPECIALLY ADAPTED THEREFOR
    • G03F7/00Photomechanical, e.g. photolithographic, production of textured or patterned surfaces, e.g. printing surfaces; Materials therefor, e.g. comprising photoresists; Apparatus specially adapted therefor
    • G03F7/16Coating processes; Apparatus therefor
    • G03F7/162Coating on a rotating support, e.g. using a whirler or a spinner

Abstract

The technique disclosed in the present specification can be applied to a spin coating apparatus which can suppress the formation of other defects caused by wind marks and turbulent fluid flow, thereby enabling a higher rotation speed and shortening of the drying time, And methods. The techniques disclosed herein include fluid flow members, such as rings or covers, positioned or suspended over the surface of a wafer or other substrate. The fluid flow member has a radial curvature that prevents wind marks during rotation of the wafer during the coating and spin drying process.

Description

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 1. Field of the Invention [0001] The present invention relates to a cover plate for defect control in a spin coating process,

The techniques disclosed herein relate to spin coating systems and processes, including spin coating of semiconductor substrates.

Spin coating has been used for decades as a method of coating a flat surface with a thin layer of polymer, photoresist, or other compound. Spin coating is typically performed by depositing a solvent solution, a polymer solution, or other liquid material on a flat substrate. The substrate is then rotated at an angular velocity sufficient to produce centrifugal forces that cause the solution to flow outward toward the edge of the substrate to coat the entire surface of the substrate. The excess solution is released from the edge of the substrate and the remaining solution is lightened and hardened as the solvent evaporates leaving a thin polymer film.

Such spin coating is a routine step in photolithography used in semiconductor device fabrication. In an exemplary photolithographic process, a resist spin coating step is performed to form a uniform resist film on the semiconductor wafer. Next, the exposure process typically involves exposing the resist film to light or other radiation through a mask that creates a potential line pattern. Finally, the developing step includes developing the resist coated wafer after the exposure process to reveal the line pattern. Such a series of processing steps are typically performed in a coating-developing system.

In a typical spin-coating process, a semiconductor wafer or other substrate is rotated with a spin chuck by a rotational drive system. The wafer is vacuum-clamped or otherwise held on a spin chuck. A resist nozzle positioned above a semiconductor wafer drops the resist solution onto the center of the wafer surface. The dropped resist solution diffuses radially outward toward the circumference of the semiconductor wafer by centrifugal force as the wafer rotates. Although diffusing the resist across the entire wafer surface occurs relatively quickly, the semiconductor wafer is continuously rotated during a period of time (usually at a reduced rotational speed) to spin off and dry the resist solution diffused over the wafer surface. Such spin coating has been used extensively in the semiconductor industry to form a thin and uniform layer of photoresist polymer on the surface of the wafer, primarily as a preparation step for other wafer processing.

A common desire in semiconductor manufacturing and spin coating is high throughput. During semiconductor fabrication, the wafer may undergo a number of coating and development steps. Thus, throughput can be improved by minimizing the duration of the process of completing each spin coating of the wafer. In other words, it is desirable to complete the spin coating or spin process in as short a time as possible to increase the number of wafers that can be processed per unit time. One challenge with increasing throughput is to meet uniformity and quality requirements. In a typical spin-coating process that uses both rotation to spread the liquid material across the wafer and to dry the liquid material, the drying time lasts substantially longer than the diffusion time. There are a variety of techniques that can be used to accelerate drying time. One basic technique is to increase the rotational speed of the wafer, which in turn increases the fluid flow rate across the surface of the wafer - the faster the wafer rotates, the faster the liquid resist or other liquid chemicals dry (the solvent evaporates do) -.

However, higher rotational speeds of the substrate may result in non-uniformity and defects in the coating. These defects are typically the result of turbulent air flow across the surface of the wafer that is triggered by a relatively fast rotational speed. One particular problem of the high rotational speed of the substrate is the generation of a wind mark, also known as the Ekman spiral. A windmark is a phenomenon that occurs when the fluid flow (air and solvent) on the wafer is continuously rotated at a high angular velocity until it transitions from laminar flow to turbulent flow. Just before a complete turbulent flow occurs, there is a strong second flow that causes a spiral pattern on the photoresist surface. These patterns (wind marks) cause defects in later processing steps due to the lack of evenness of the resist thickness.

At a given substrate diameter, there is a maximum velocity at which the wafer can be rotated before the airflow begins to form a wind mark on the resist across the threshold. The threshold for forming the windmark is based on a combination of diameter and angular velocity. The start of the windmark is correlated with the specific value of the Reynolds number. The Reynolds number for spin coating uses the density of air on the wafer, the angular velocity of the wafer, the radial position from the center of the wafer, and the viscosity of air to quantify the inertial and viscous forces. The critical Reynolds number identifies where instability occurs. Because of the wind mark, the critical Reynolds number limits the angular velocity based on the predetermined radius of the wafer W edge. As the substrate diameter increases, the maximum angular velocity needs to be reduced due to the increase in tangential velocity at a more radial distance from the axis of rotation. In other words, when spin-coating a larger disk, the spin rate needs to be reduced to prevent wind marks near the edge of the wafer.

This is a challenge, especially as the semiconductor industry transitions from a 300 mm diameter process wafer to a 450 mm diameter wafer. For example, some conventional spin coating systems that coat 300 mm wafers can spin the wafer at revs up to about 1800 rpm, the liquid is distributed and diffused over a few seconds, and the solvent ) It evaporates completely in less than about 1 minute. However, when the substrate diameter is increased to 450 mm, the spin rate needs to be reduced to approximately 900 rpm to avoid wind marks. Such a speed reduction has two significant challenges. One challenge is that at such relatively low rotational speeds, the liquid does not evenly diffuse across the wafer surface (low centrifugal force). Another challenge at low rotational speed is a noticeable increase in drying time. At low rotational speeds, solvent evaporation can take up to 3 minutes or 4 minutes or more, which means that the throughput time per wafer surface area can actually be reduced even though 450 mm wafers are more than twice the area of 300 mm wafers .

The technique disclosed in the present specification can be applied to a spin coating apparatus which can suppress the formation of other defects caused by wind marks and turbulent fluid flow, thereby enabling a higher rotation speed and shortening of the drying time, And methods. The techniques disclosed herein include a fluid flow member, such as a ring or cover, positioned or suspended above a substrate holder or rather above a top surface of a wafer or other substrate. The fluid flow member has a radial curvature that prevents wind marks during rotation of the wafer or other substrate.

One embodiment includes a spin coating apparatus having a substrate holder configured to hold a substrate horizontally during a spin coating process, for example, by using a vacuum chuck. A rotation mechanism of a motor or the like is connected to the substrate holder. The rotation mechanism is configured to rotate the substrate holder about the rotation axis. The apparatus includes a liquid distributor configured to dispense the liquid material onto the working surface of the substrate when the substrate is disposed on the substrate holder. The working surface is generally planar and disposed opposite the bottom surface of the substrate in contact with the substrate holder. The apparatus includes a fluid flow member having a substrate-oriented surface. The fluid flow member is configured such that when the substrate is placed on the substrate holder, the substrate-oriented surface is positioned to be vertically positioned above the working surface of the substrate. At least a portion of the substrate-oriented surface is curved such that a predetermined vertical distance between the substrate-oriented surface and the working surface changes radially relative to a predetermined radial distance from the rotation axis. In other words, the working surface of the substrate is generally planar, and the fluid flow member suspended thereon is curved so that the predetermined height of the substrate-oriented surface above the working surface depends on a predetermined radius of the substrate.

Another embodiment includes a method of manufacturing a semiconductor device. The method has a number of steps, including positioning the substrate on a substrate holder. The substrate holder holds the substrate horizontally and has a rotation axis. The substrate has a bottom surface in contact with the substrate holder and an operating surface opposite the bottom surface. In another step, the fluid flow member is positioned above the substrate holder. The fluid flow member has a substrate-oriented surface positioned vertically above the working surface at a predetermined average vertical distance or average height above the working surface. At least a portion of the substrate-oriented surface is curved such that a predetermined vertical distance between the substrate-oriented surface and the working surface changes radially relative to a predetermined radial distance from the rotation axis. The liquid material is dispensed on the working surface of the substrate through a liquid distributor positioned over the substrate. The substrate and the substrate holder are rotated together through a rotation mechanism coupled to the substrate holder such that the liquid material is diffused across the working surface of the substrate and then dried by a rotary motion.

Of course, the order of description of the various steps set forth herein is provided for clarity. In general, these steps may be performed in any suitable order. Furthermore, while different features, techniques, configurations, and the like may be described herein in different places in the present disclosure, the concepts may be performed independently of each other or in combination with each other. Accordingly, the present invention may be embodied and studied in many different ways.

It is noted that this Summary section does not specify all embodiments of the present disclosure or claimed invention and / or a progressive new aspect. Instead, this Summary provides only a preliminary description of the various embodiments and a corresponding novelty in comparison to the prior art. For further details and / or possible aspects of the present invention and the embodiments, please note the detailed description of the present disclosure and the corresponding figures, which are described further below.

A more complete understanding of the various embodiments of the present invention and the attendant advantages will be readily apparent with reference to the following detailed description taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings. The drawings are not necessarily to scale, emphasis instead being placed upon illustrating the present embodiments, principles and concepts.
1 is a cross-sectional view showing the overall structure of a spin coating apparatus.
2 is a plan view of the spin coating apparatus of FIG.
3 is an enlarged cross-sectional view of a fluid flow member according to an embodiment of the present disclosure;
4 is an enlarged cross-sectional view of a fluid flow member according to an embodiment of the present disclosure;
5 is a cross-sectional view of a variation of the fluid flow member described herein.
6A-6C are top views of a variation of the fluid flow member described herein.
7 is a plan view of a variant of the fluid flow member described herein.
8A-8B are plan views of a variation of the fluid flow member described herein.
9 is a top view of a variation of a fluid flow member having an adjustable opening described herein.
10 is a side view of a variant of a fluid flow member having an adjustable opening described herein.
11 is an exploded perspective view of a fluid flow member having an adjustable opening as described herein.

For purposes of explanation rather than limitation, the following description sets forth specific details such as the specific geometry of the processing system, the various components used in the system, and a description of the process. It should be understood, however, that the present invention may be practiced in other embodiments that depart from this specific detail.

Similarly, for purposes of explanation, specific numbers, materials, and configurations are set forth in order to provide a thorough understanding of the present invention. Nevertheless, the present invention may be practiced without specific details. Moreover, it is understood that the various embodiments shown in the figures are exemplary representations and are not necessarily drawn to scale.

Various operations will be described one after another as a number of distinct operations in a manner that provides the greatest help in understanding the present invention. However, the order of description should not be construed to imply that these operations are necessarily dependent on the order. In particular, these operations need not be performed in the order presented. The described operations may be performed in a different order than the described embodiments. Various additional operations may be performed and / or the described operations may be omitted in a further embodiment.

As used herein, " substrate " refers generally to an object to be treated in accordance with the present invention. The substrate may comprise any material portion or structure of a device, particularly a semiconductor or other electronic device, and may be a base substrate structure, such as a layer on or on a base substrate structure, such as a semiconductor wafer or a thin film. Thus, the substrate is not intended to be limited to any particular base structure, underlying layer or overlay layer, patterned or non-patterned form, any such layer or base structure, and any combination of layers and / . The following description may refer to a particular type of substrate, but this is for illustrative purposes only and is not intended to be limiting.

Thus, the techniques disclosed herein can be used to reduce the spin rate and the drying time by inhibiting the formation of other defects caused by windmarks and turbulent fluid flow, Coating apparatus and method. The techniques disclosed herein include a fluid flow member, such as a cap, ring, or other airflow structure, positioned or suspended on a substrate holder or on a substrate disposed on the substrate holder. The fluid flow member has a radial curvature selected to prevent wind marks and other defects in the turbulent air flow during rotation of the wafer or other substrate. The fluid flow member is positioned proximate the substrate. The shape, size, and position of the fluid flow member are determined by maintaining the laminar flow fluid (typically solvent and air) across the surface of the wafer coated with the liquid material and maintaining the drying time It helps to make it faster.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS Exemplary embodiments will be described with reference to the accompanying drawings. For convenience, the embodiments herein will be described in the context of using resist as a component of semiconductor fabrication. However, it is noted that other liquid materials may also be used for spin coating of semiconductor substrates, or any other generally planar substrate. 1 is a cross-sectional view showing the overall structure of a resist coating unit (COT) 100 (spin coating apparatus). FIG. 2 is a plan sectional view showing the overall structure of a resist coating unit (COT) 100 according to an embodiment of the present invention.

A circular cup (CP) is disposed in the center of the resist coating unit (100). The substrate holder 102 (spin chuck) is disposed in a cup (CP) that catches the waste fluid as the waste fluid flows downward into the drain after flowing out of the edge of the substrate. The substrate holder 102 is rotated by a rotation mechanism such as a drive motor 103 and the semiconductor wafer W (hereinafter referred to as a " wafer ") is vacuum-adsorbed onto the substrate holder 102. Other substrate retention mechanisms may also be used. The drive motor 103 may be disposed in an opening in the CP and may optionally include a lifting mechanism that causes the substrate holder 102 to move up and down. The lifting mechanism may be, for example, an air cylinder and may include upper and lower guide units. The motor may include a cooling unit and may be constructed of a material favorable to the spin coating process.

The wafer W may be carried to the substrate holder 102 by a holding member 109 as a part of a wafer transfer mechanism (not shown). The up and down drive unit can raise the drive motor 103 and / or the substrate holder 102 upward to receive the wafer W. [ Alternatively, the cups CP may be moved up or down and separated and expanded to place the wafers W on the substrate holder 102.

The liquid distributor includes a resist nozzle 110 for supplying a resist solution onto the surface of the wafer W and is connected to a resist feeder through a resist feeding pipe 111. [ The resist nozzle 110 may be detachably attached to the tip of the resist nozzle scan arm 112 through the nozzle holder 113. [ The resist nozzle scan arm 112 is mounted on the upper end of the vertical support member 115 which can be moved horizontally on the guide rail 114 in one direction (Y direction). Thus, the resist nozzle scan arm 112 is moved in the Y direction together with the vertical support member 115 by a Y-direction drive mechanism (not shown). Other mechanisms may be used to move the resist nozzles 110 in the Z and / or X directions. The resist nozzles 110 may be interchangeable with other resist nozzles of different types or sizes. A solvent atmosphere can be used to prevent the resist solution at the tip of the nozzle from solidifying or deteriorating.

The resist application may include applying the solvent to act as a thinner for wetting the wafer surface before supplying the resist solution to the wafer surface. This initial solvent may be applied by the resist nozzle 110 or an adjacently mounted nozzle. The solvent and resist may be supplied via one or more connected feed pipes (not shown) and one or more scan arm assemblies.

A high-efficiency dust-collecting filter 141 is provided on the wafer W. Clean air is supplied to the resist coating unit (COT) 100 as the temperature and humidity pass through the high efficiency dust filter 141 so that the air adjusted by the temperature and humidity controller 142 removes dust. It is noted that instead of air, for example, a gas containing a solvent for the resist solution may be introduced.

A control system or controller (not shown) of the resist coating unit (COT) 100 may be used to control and manage the various spin coating operations. The controller may include a process controller having a CPU, a user interface, and a memory unit. The user interface is connected to the process controller and has an input device for causing the process manager to perform, for example, a command input operation for controlling the resist coating unit 100 through a display indicating the visual operating state of the resist coating unit 100 . The memory unit connected to the process controller stores a control program (software) for realizing various processes to be performed by the resist coating unit (COT) 100 under the control of the process controller, and a recipe having various process condition data and the like .

When recalling a given recipe by command or similar input via the user interface, the resist coating unit (COT) 100 performs the desired process under the control of the process controller. The controller controls the drive of, for example, the drive motor 103, the resist feeder, and the solvent feeder. Specifically, the controller controls the drive motor 103 to increase or decrease its rotation speed. The controller also controls the timing at which the resist solution is supplied from the resist feeder to the resist nozzle 110, the timing at which solvent such as diluent is supplied from the solvent feeder to the solvent nozzle, and the amount and type of resist solution and solvent to be fed.

The recipe for the control program and process condition data may be stored in a computer readable memory medium such as a CD-ROM, hard disk, flexible disk or flash memory, or may be transferred online from another device via a dedicated line for use as needed .

The resist coating unit 100 also includes a fluid flow member 150. In the embodiment of Figures 1 and 2, the fluid flow member 150 appears to be integral with the cup CP as a relatively thin structural member. However, such integration is only one exemplary embodiment. In another embodiment, the fluid flow member 150 may be attached to the upper structural member in the resist coating unit 100, such as attached to the resist nozzle scan arm 112. In an embodiment attached to the scan arm, the fluid flow member 150 can be moved to either side when the wafer W is placed on or removed from the substrate holder 102. [ In another embodiment, the fluid flow member may be attached adjacent to the cup CP and may include an independent vertical movement mechanism.

In general, the fluid flow member 150 provides a substrate-oriented surface 155, at least a portion of which is curved radially with respect to the axis of rotation 180 of the substrate holder 102. As a result, when the wafer W is placed on the substrate holder 102, a curved plate or ring is created that is positioned on the wafer W. [ The curvature is closer to the wafer W at the outer edge 121 of the wafer W when compared with the radial distances close to the rotation axis. In addition, the height or vertical distance between the fluid flow member 150 and the wafer W is increased toward the rotation axis 180.

In some embodiments, such as in FIG. 5, the fluid flow member 150 continues to extend to the rotational axis 180 with curvature, so that the fluid flow member may have a conical shape. In another embodiment, such as in FIG. 12, the fluid flow member 150 may define an opening 157 over the wafer W to receive resist and air. This allows for better control of the formation of wind marks at the wafer edge and allows more air to flow in or through the center or opening 157. [

Referring now to Figure 3, such a curved member on the substrate (wafer) may be used as a curved member in some cases, without creating a protrusion in the resist from which the fluid flow member begins to cover the substrate, Using too small a curvature increases the laminar flow of air and solvent over the coated substrate. Such protrusions are formed by an increase in localized film thickness due to increased evaporation. The curvature of the fluid flow member provides a gradient transition from the significantly curved inner ring-shaped section 150-2 to the generally linearly inclined or flat outer ring-shaped section 150-1.

The technique used in this fluid flow member may include a process of moving the fluid flow member up and down to prevent defects. For example, providing a fluid flow member 150 at an optimal height around the wafer can reduce turbulence, but providing a fluid flow member that is closed during the diffusion of the liquid material (resist) can cause defects. When the liquid material is initially dispensed onto the substrate, there may be some splatter as the liquid diffuses to the edge of the substrate. If the particles fall on the fluid flow member (which is initially too close to the wafer), the particles may later fall back onto the substrate and cause defects. By keeping the fluid flow member at a sufficiently high position above the wafer W during the initial dispensing of the liquid material, the fluid flow member avoids any possible collapse and is then lowered to an optimum height after the time period . The wafer W can then continue to spin dry the liquid material while the fluid flow member promotes laminar flow of the fluid over the surface of the liquid material on the wafer W. [

Describing some exemplary embodiments, one embodiment includes a spin coating apparatus for coating a substrate such as a wafer W, but other substrates such as a liquid crystal display (LCD) substrate may be used. The apparatus includes a substrate holder configured to hold the substrate horizontally during a spin coating process. Vacuum adsorption is a common holding mechanism, but clamping, the use of a recess to receive a substrate, or other holding mechanism can be used. The rotation mechanism is connected to the substrate holder. The rotating mechanism is configured to rotate the substrate holder about a rotational axis, which simultaneously rotates the substrate on the substrate holder. The apparatus includes a liquid distributor configured to dispense a liquid material (such as a resist) onto an operating surface of the substrate when the substrate is disposed on the substrate holder. FIG. 3 illustrates an exemplary working surface 125. FIG. The working surface is planar and opposes the bottom surface of the substrate, which is in contact with the substrate holder. In other words, in the case of a substrate holder holding the substrate in the horizontal direction, the working surface is the upper surface.

The apparatus includes a fluid flow member having a substrate-oriented surface (155). The fluid flow member is configured to be positioned or suspended such that when the substrate is placed on the substrate holder, the substrate-oriented surface is positioned vertically above the working surface of the substrate. At least a portion of the substrate-oriented surface is curved such that a predetermined vertical distance between the substrate-oriented surface and the working surface changes radially relative to a predetermined radial distance from the rotation axis. In other words, the fluid flow member has a curvature that varies from the edge 121 toward the center of the substrate that coincides with the rotational axis 180.

In some embodiments, the predetermined vertical distance between the substrate-oriented surface and the working surface may be altered such that the predetermined vertical distance decreases with increasing radial distance from the rotation axis. In other words, the fluid flow member is higher toward the center of the substrate and the fluid flow member is lower at the edge of the substrate. The substrate-oriented surface is positioned above the ring-shaped portion of the actuating surface when the actuating surface has a circular shape. The ring-shaped portion extends from the outer edge of the working surface to a predetermined radial distance from the rotational axis. The fluid flow member may define a circular opening vertically above the circular portion of the working surface, the circular portion extending from the rotation axis to a predetermined radial distance. Thus, the fluid flow member is suspended above the peripheral portion of the substrate, and the central opening permits air flow from above, e.g., from the dust filter 141.

In another embodiment, the substrate-oriented surface has an outer ring-shaped section, such as section 150-1, and an inner ring-shaped section, such as section 150-2. The inner ring-shaped section is closer to the rotation axis 180 than the outer ring-shaped section. The inner ring-shaped section of the substrate-oriented surface is curved in the radial direction, and the outer ring-shaped section of the substrate-oriented surface has a substantially linear radial tilt. Thus, the prominently curved portion of the fluid flow member is closer to the center of the substrate, and above the edge portion of the substrate, the fluid flow member is substantially flat, which may include having a substantially larger radius to appear substantially linear have.

In an alternative embodiment, the inner ring-shaped section of the substrate-oriented surface is curved radially and the outer ring-shaped section of the substrate-oriented surface is configured such that when the fluid flow member is positioned vertically above the working surface of the substrate, So that there is a substantially constant vertical distance between the outer ring-shaped sections. In other words, the interior of the fluid flow member is curved, and the exterior has a constant height above the substrate.

The embodiment may include a vertical movement mechanism configured to increase or decrease the average vertical distance between the substrate-oriented surface 155 and the working surface 125 when the substrate is placed on the substrate holder. Since the substrate-oriented surface is at least partially curved, there can be a variable height at any predetermined radial distance (provided that the same height around the fluid flow member is the same at a particular radial distance). Thus, the average vertical distance, or average suspension distance, can be used to ascertain the vertical movement / position of the fluid flow member over the substrate-oriented surface. The vertical movement mechanism may be configured to set the vertical distance between the outer ring-shaped section and the working surface to be less than about 5 millimeters or less than about 10 millimeters. Suspension of the outer ring section at about 10 millimeters can improve laminar flow compared to no cover, and hanging the outer ring section at less than about 5 millimeters, or even less than about 3 or 4 millimeters, results in a very good laminar flow . The inner ring-shaped section of the substrate-oriented surface may have a first radius of curvature of about 20 millimeters to 90 millimeters.

In a variation, before distributing the liquid material onto the working surface, the substrate-oriented surface is maintained at a predetermined average vertical distance above the working surface during the first time period. Which may be an initial height selected to avoid the particles falling onto the substrate-oriented surface. The first time interval may be relatively short compared to the total substrate rotation time. For example, the first time interval may be a fraction of a second time interval for one second or a few seconds. Following the initiation of dispensing of the liquid material, the predetermined average vertical distance is reduced to a second predetermined average vertical distance through the vertical movement mechanism during the second time period. This second time interval may be relatively longer than the first time interval. As a non-limiting example, the second time period may be 5 seconds, 10 seconds, 15 seconds, or more. During this second time period, the rotational speed of the substrate can be accelerated. Also, the second predetermined average vertical distance may be relatively close to the substrate such that the shortest distance is about 2 mm. Next, the predetermined average vertical distance is increased to a third predetermined average vertical distance during the third time period while the substrate is rotated on the substrate holder. This third time interval may be substantially longer than the second time interval, e.g., two or three times or more. The third predetermined average vertical distance may also have a longer minimum distance for the substrate, e.g., about 10 or 15 mm. If the substrate-oriented surface is raised higher above the substrate, a corresponding reduction in the rotational speed of the substrate can be performed to keep the flow below the turbulence threshold. The rotation during this third time period may continue until drying is complete or until the wafer can be moved to the hot plate. Thus, the top plate or lid can be lowered sufficiently early to avoid turbulence effects at a timely point in avoiding particle depletion, and the top plate or lid can be elevated to help maintain film uniformity. The time and distance provided herein are exemplary and the actual time period, rotational speed, and distance may depend on the predetermined chemical and / or recipe steps used.

In another embodiment, the substrate-oriented surface has an outer ring-shaped section and an inner ring-shaped section. The inner ring-shaped section is closer to the rotation axis than the outer ring-shaped section. The inner ring-shaped section of the substrate-oriented surface has a first radius of curvature, and the outer ring-shaped section of the substrate-oriented surface has a second radius of curvature. The second radius of curvature is different from the first radius of curvature. The substrate-oriented surface is convex with respect to the working surface as shown in Fig. The first radius of curvature may be between about 20 millimeters and 90 millimeters, and the second radius of curvature may be between about 1000 millimeters and 2000 millimeters. Alternatively, the first radius of curvature can be about 50 millimeters to 70 millimeters, and the second radius of curvature can be about 1300 millimeters to 1500 millimeters.

In some embodiments, the substrate-oriented surface defines the shape of the truncated cone with respect to the actuating surface such that the distance between the substrate-oriented surface and the actuating surface decreases radially towards the outer edge of the actuating surface. The substrate-oriented surface is curved, and the fluid flow member itself may be relatively flat, such as a plate, or it may be a block with a thick thickness. The substrate-oriented surface may have a curvature selected to enhance the drying uniformity during the spin-coating process, i.e., a shape of a particular curvature may be selected to improve the drying uniformity during spin-drying of the substrate. A predetermined vertical distance between the varying substrate-oriented surface and the working surface may be selected to minimize turbulent flow across the working surface. It is noted that if the height is relatively large (e.g., 10 centimeters or more), there may be little advantage. Likewise, if the height is too small (e.g., perhaps less than 1 millimeter), there may be some turbulence and / or a decrease in uniformity. Thus, curvature is optimized for uniformity and height is chosen to balance uniformity and turbulence.

Figure 4 shows an enlarged cross-sectional view of an exemplary fluid flow member similar to that of Figure 3; Although the fluid flow member of Figure 4 has an approximate radial curvature, the cross-section shows that the substrate-oriented surface 155 is comprised of a plurality of planar (linear) segments. Thus, the substrate-oriented surface of the fluid flow member is configured with a plurality of planar radial segments such that the fluid flow member has a cross-sectional curvature comprised of a plurality of linear segments, such as may be identified as part of the substrate- .

In another embodiment, the substrate-oriented surface may be configured to rotate in conjunction with the substrate holder as shown in Fig. Depending on the particular material and process conditions, uniformity and fluid flow advantages can be obtained by fluid flow members that rotate with the substrate.

6 is a top view of various configurations of fluid flow members. In these embodiments, the fluid flow member defines an opening such that the fluid flow member forms a partial ring over the substrate holder. As a non-limiting example, FIG. 6A shows a fluid flow member defining an annular opening. Figure 6b shows an essentially semicircular fluid flow member. Figure 6C shows another exemplary opening in which the line edges of the opening are approximately perpendicular to each other.

Figure 7 shows a split fluid flow member or top plate. In this embodiment, the fluid flow member is comprised of a plurality of sections that can be moved mechanically (vertically or laterally) from the substrate holder. Such movement may be useful for positioning and retrieving substrates on substrate holders as well as for allowing nozzle arm movements. In one embodiment, each section of the fluid flow member can be attached to an arm that can be moved so that no part of the fluid flow member covers the wafer. Each arm may be moved in cooperation with another arm to form a continuous fluid flow member. The sections can also be moved apart at relatively small distances to better optimize the balance between thickness uniformity and turbulence control. Thus, one embodiment includes a fluid flow member that includes two or more segments (e.g., four segments) such that at least one segment is configured to move away from an adjacent segment. Such segments may have radial curvature as described above, or they may be essentially planar segments that form a generally planar substrate-oriented surface.

Figs. 8-11 are diagrams illustrating a fluid flow member having a dynamically varying central opening. Fig. Figures 8A and 8B show a top view of a fluid flow member with an opening having a predetermined diameter, which reduces the total surface area of the fluid flow member by increasing the predetermined diameter. Figure 9 is a plan view of one exemplary embodiment of such a fluid flow member defining a generally circular opening centered about an axis of rotation (of the substrate holder / wafer), and Figure 10 is a side view. The fluid flow member is configured such that the diameter of the defined opening can be increased and / or decreased. The illustrated example implements this technique essentially as a diaphragm or shutter-style opening.

The fluid flow member may include a diaphragm member and a ring-shaped base plate (162). The diaphragm member may include various components such as a blade 164 and a rod 166. The rod 166 passes through the slot 165 of the blade 164 and can hold the blade through the fastener 167. The rod 166 may also be attached to the mounting ring 168. Movement of the mounting ring 168 is such that rotation of the mounting ring causes the blade to increase and / or decrease the diameter of the defined opening. As the mounting ring 168 is rotated, the rod 166 moves through the slot 165, thereby repositioning the rod as the blades 164 slide across each other. This again increases or decreases the diameter of the defined opening. Thus, in this embodiment, the fluid flow member may be considered a ring having an adjustable inner radius or diameter. With such adjustability, the fluid flow member can be dynamically adjusted for a particular application.

Another embodiment may include a method of fabricating a semiconductor device, the method including several steps. The substrate is positioned on the substrate holder, for example by using a robot arm. The substrate holder holds the substrate horizontally. The substrate holder has a rotation axis. The substrate has a bottom surface in contact with the substrate holder and an operating surface opposite the bottom surface. The fluid flow member is positioned above the substrate holder. The fluid flow member has a substrate-oriented surface such that positioning the fluid flow member includes positioning the substrate-oriented surface vertically above the working surface at a predetermined average vertical distance above the operating surface. At least a portion of the substrate-oriented surface is curved such that a predetermined vertical distance between the substrate-oriented surface and the working surface changes radially relative to a predetermined radial distance from the rotation axis. A liquid material, such as a resist, is distributed over the working surface of the substrate through a liquid distributor positioned over the substrate. The substrate and the substrate holder are then rotated through a rotation mechanism coupled to the substrate holder such that the liquid material is diffused across the working surface of the substrate.

In another embodiment, before distributing the liquid material onto the working surface, the substrate-oriented surface is maintained at a predetermined average vertical distance above the working surface, and following a start of dispensing of the liquid material, Mechanism to a second predetermined average vertical distance. The substrate-oriented surface has an outer ring-shaped section and an inner ring-shaped section, and the inner ring-shaped section is closer to the rotation axis than the outer ring-shaped section. The inner ring-shaped section of the substrate-oriented surface is curved in the radial direction and the outer ring-shaped section of the substrate-oriented surface has a substantially linear radial inclination, thereby reducing the predetermined average vertical distance to a second predetermined average vertical distance, Is positioned at a distance of less than about 4 millimeters from the working surface. The outer section extends beyond a radial distance 127 of about 80-120 millimeters from the axis of rotation when the working surface has a diameter of about 300 millimeters. The outer section extends beyond a radial distance 127 of about 100-170 millimeters from the axis of rotation when the working surface has a diameter of about 450 millimeters.

It is noted that there are several variables that can affect the maximum angular velocity using fluid flow members. For example, optimal pressures can help to promote laminar flow. If the pressure is too low, a reverse flow condition that causes turbulence may occur. Other variables include the type of substrate and the type of liquid material. It is customary that the wafer be circular or disk shaped, but such a shape is not essential and the spin device can function in a rectangular and other shaped substrate. There are many different types of resists and solvents that can be selected. Each solvent may have its own flow and evaporation characteristics. Thus, it should be appreciated that adjustments may be made to the fluid flow member, average height, and rotational speed based on substrate and resist properties to yield optimal drying time and film uniformity. For example, in the case of a resist commonly used for semiconductor fabrication on wafers, it is advantageous to have a vertical distance between the working surface and the substrate-oriented surface, wherein a relatively large section of the outer diameter is less than about 3 millimeters. By way of non-limiting example, when processing wafers having a radius of 150 mm, having a vertical distance of about 110 mm (about 165 mm for a 225 mm radius wafer) set to less than about 3 mm, When tapered to about 1.5 mm, a greatly improved laminar flow is produced for higher rotational speeds, for example above 2800 rpm.

Another embodiment includes reducing the first predetermined average vertical distance to a second predetermined average vertical distance within a predetermined time from initiating the dispensing of the liquid material on the working surface. As a non-limiting example, a resist is deposited on a substrate, the substrate is rotated, and after about one second, the resist covers the substrate, causing the substrate-oriented surface to be lowered to promote laminar fluid flow during spin drying. Further, in another embodiment, the substrate-oriented surface may be rotated in the same rotational direction as the substrate holder so that the substrate-oriented surface is rotated at the same angular velocity as the working surface.

Another embodiment includes a method of exchanging a discharged cup in several recipe steps to optimize balance between film thickness uniformity and particle generation while maintaining turbulence control. Having a relatively low discharge rate is generally better at uniformity of the film thickness when using the top plate (fluid flow member), i.e. a relatively low discharge rate results in a more uniform film thickness. One conflicting concern, however, is that if the emissivity is below a certain value, the particles may fall on the treated wafer. This risk may be higher in certain process steps, and thus the method may include increasing emissions during certain process steps that are more likely to accept particle contaminants. Moreover, if the discharge is too low, there is a possibility that pressure will be created in the spin coating module to force particles into other parts of the wafer manufacturing system. Thus, a higher emission rate is typically less defective, and a lower emission rate is typically better than a uniformity. Accordingly, the technique may include adjusting the emission rate in combination with using a fluid flow member to maintain the defect below a predetermined amount and maintain uniformity above a predetermined value.

Fluid flow members and methods herein can improve uniformity to varying degrees depending on process conditions and liquid material properties. For example, based on a particular choice of pressure, temperature, and type of liquid material, the technique can be used to achieve a maximum rotation of about 2800-3200 rpm of a 300 mm substrate without turbulence and a maximum of about 1200-1400 rpm To rotate.

Although only certain embodiments of the invention have been described in detail above, those skilled in the art will readily appreciate that many modifications are possible in the embodiments without materially departing from the novel teachings and advantages of the invention. Accordingly, such modifications are intended to be included within the scope of the present invention.

Claims (30)

  1. A spin coating apparatus for coating a substrate,
    A substrate holder configured to hold the substrate horizontally during a spin coating process;
    A rotation mechanism coupled to the substrate holder and configured to rotate the substrate holder about a rotation axis;
    Wherein the actuating surface of the substrate when the substrate is disposed on the substrate holder has a circular shape and is planar and opposes the bottom surface of the substrate in contact with the substrate holder, A liquid distributor configured to dispense liquid; And
    A ring-shaped fluid flow member having a substrate-facing surface
    Lt; / RTI >
    Wherein the fluid flow member is configured to be positioned such that when the substrate is disposed on the substrate holder, the substrate-oriented surface is vertically positioned over a ring-shaped portion of the working surface of the substrate, the ring- Wherein the substrate-oriented surface defines a predetermined vertical distance between the substrate-oriented surface and the working surface in a radial direction with respect to a predetermined radial distance from the rotation axis, As shown in FIG.
    Wherein the substrate-oriented surface has an outer ring-shaped section and an inner ring-shaped section, the inner ring-shaped section being closer to the rotation axis than the outer ring-shaped section and the inner ring- Wherein the outer ring-shaped section of the substrate-oriented surface is positioned above an edge portion of the ring-shaped portion of the working surface and has a second radius of curvature, 1 < / RTI > radius of curvature, and said substrate-oriented surface is convex with respect to said actuation surface.
  2. The method according to claim 1,
    Wherein a predetermined vertical distance between said substrate-oriented surface and said working surface is varied such that a predetermined vertical distance decreases with an increase in radial distance from said rotation axis.
  3. The method according to claim 1,
    Wherein said fluid flow member defines a circular opening vertically above a circular portion of said working surface, said circular portion extending from said rotary axis to a predetermined radial distance.
  4. The method according to claim 1,
    Wherein the linear outer ring-shaped section of the substrate-oriented surface has a linear radial tilt.
  5. The method according to claim 1,
    Wherein when the fluid flow member is vertically positioned on the working surface of the substrate, there is a constant vertical distance between the working outer surface and the linear outer ring-shaped section of the substrate-oriented surface, Wherein the outer ring-shaped section is planar.
  6. 6. The method of claim 5,
    Further comprising a vertical movement mechanism configured to increase or decrease an average vertical distance between the substrate-oriented surface and the working surface when the substrate is placed on the substrate holder.
  7. The method according to claim 6,
    Wherein the vertical movement mechanism is configured to set a vertical distance between the outer ring-shaped section and the working surface to less than 5 millimeters.
  8. 6. The method of claim 5,
    Wherein the radius of curvature of the inner ring-shaped section of the substrate-oriented surface is between 20 millimeters and 90 millimeters.
  9. The method according to claim 1,
    Wherein the first radius of curvature is from 20 millimeters to 90 millimeters and the second radius of curvature is from 1000 millimeters to 2000 millimeters.
  10. 10. The method of claim 9,
    Wherein the first radius of curvature is from 50 millimeters to 70 millimeters and the second radius of curvature is from 1300 millimeters to 1500 millimeters.
  11. The method according to claim 1,
    Wherein the substrate-oriented surface defines a shape of a truncated cone that is convex with respect to the actuating surface such that a distance between the substrate-oriented surface and the actuating surface decreases radially toward an outer edge of the actuating surface. Spin coating apparatus.
  12. The method according to claim 1,
    Wherein the fluid flow member comprises two or more segments such that at least one segment is configured to move away from an adjacent segment.
  13. 13. The method of claim 12,
    Wherein the fluid flow member comprises four segments such that each segment is configured to be mechanically moved away from an adjacent segment.
  14. The method according to claim 1,
    Wherein the substrate-oriented surface of the fluid flow member includes a plurality of planar radial segments such that the fluid flow member has a cross-sectional curvature comprised of a plurality of linear segments.
  15. The method according to claim 1,
    Wherein the fluid flow member defines an opening such that the fluid flow member forms a partial ring over the substrate holder.
  16. A spin coating apparatus for coating a substrate,
    A substrate holder configured to hold the substrate horizontally during a spin coating process;
    A rotation mechanism coupled to the substrate holder and configured to rotate the substrate holder about a rotation axis;
    The working surface of the substrate when the substrate is placed on the substrate holder, the working surface having a circular shape and being planar and facing the bottom surface of the substrate in contact with the substrate holder A liquid distributor constituted; And
    A ring-shaped fluid flow member having a substrate-
    Lt; / RTI >
    Wherein the fluid flow member is configured to be positioned such that when the substrate is disposed on the substrate holder, the substrate-oriented surface is vertically positioned over a ring-shaped portion of the working surface of the substrate, the ring- Wherein a predetermined vertical distance between the substrate-oriented surface and the working surface is greater than a predetermined radial distance from the rotation axis, the portion of the substrate-oriented surface having a predetermined radial distance from the outer edge of the surface, Is curved to change radially,
    Wherein the substrate-oriented surface has a linear outer ring-shaped section and a curved inner ring-shaped section, the curved inner ring-shaped section being closer to the rotation axis than the linear outer ring-shaped section and the curved inner ring- Is positioned over an inner portion of the ring-shaped portion of the working surface and has a radius of curvature, wherein a linear outer ring-shaped section of the substrate-oriented surface is positioned above an edge portion of the ring- Device.
  17. 17. The method of claim 16,
    Wherein a predetermined vertical distance between said substrate-oriented surface and said working surface is varied such that a predetermined vertical distance decreases with an increase in radial distance from said rotation axis.
  18. 17. The method of claim 16,
    Wherein said fluid flow member defines a circular opening vertically above a circular portion of said working surface, said circular portion extending from said rotary axis to a predetermined radial distance.
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KR1020167025698A 2014-02-24 2014-02-24 Cover plate for defect control in spin coating process KR102006059B1 (en)

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CN106132564A (en) 2016-11-16
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CN106132564B (en) 2019-12-20
JP2017508616A (en) 2017-03-30

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