US20060147202A1 - Substrate processing apparatus and substrate processing method - Google Patents

Substrate processing apparatus and substrate processing method Download PDF

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Publication number
US20060147202A1
US20060147202A1 US11295240 US29524005A US2006147202A1 US 20060147202 A1 US20060147202 A1 US 20060147202A1 US 11295240 US11295240 US 11295240 US 29524005 A US29524005 A US 29524005A US 2006147202 A1 US2006147202 A1 US 2006147202A1
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Prior art keywords
substrate
processing
processing unit
exposure
liquid
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Legal status (The legal status is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the status listed.)
Abandoned
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US11295240
Inventor
Shuichi Yasuda
Masashi Kanaoka
Koji Kaneyama
Tadashi Miyagi
Kazuhito Shigemori
Toru Asano
Yukio Toriyama
Takashi Taguchi
Tsuyoshi Mitsuhashi
Tsuyoshi Okumura
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Screen Semiconductor Solutions Co Ltd
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Screen Holdings Co Ltd
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    • GPHYSICS
    • G03PHOTOGRAPHY; CINEMATOGRAPHY; 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
    • G03F7/70Exposure apparatus for microlithography
    • G03F7/708Construction of apparatus, e.g. environment, hygiene aspects or materials
    • G03F7/70991Connection with other apparatus, e.g. multiple exposure stations, particular arrangement of exposure apparatus and pre-exposure and/or post-exposure apparatus, shared apparatus, e.g. having shared radiation source, shared mask or workpiece stage, shared base-plate, utilities, e.g. cable, pipe or wireless arrangements for data, power, fluids, vacuum
    • GPHYSICS
    • G03PHOTOGRAPHY; CINEMATOGRAPHY; 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
    • G03F7/70Exposure apparatus for microlithography
    • G03F7/70216Systems for imaging mask onto workpiece
    • G03F7/70341Immersion

Abstract

A substrate processing apparatus comprises an indexer block, an anti-reflection film processing block, a resist film processing block, a washing/development processing block, and an interface block. An exposure device is arranged adjacent to the interface block. A resist film is formed on a substrate by the resist film processing block. The substrate is washed and dried by the washing processing unit in the washing/development processing block before the substrate is subjected to the exposure processing by the exposure device.

Description

    BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • 1. Field of the Invention
  • The present invention relates to substrate processing apparatuses and substrate processing methods for applying processing to substrates.
  • 2. Description of the Background Art
  • A substrate processing apparatus is used to apply a variety of processing to substrates such as semiconductor substrates, substrates for use in liquid crystal displays, plasma displays, optical disks, magnetic disks, magneto-optical disks, photomasks, and other substrates.
  • Such a substrate processing apparatus typically applies a plurality of successive processing to a single substrate. The substrate processing apparatus as described in JP 2003-324139 A comprises an indexer block, an anti-reflection film processing block, a resist film processing block, a development processing block, and an interface block. An exposure device is arranged adjacent to the interface block as an external device separate from the substrate processing apparatus.
  • In the above-described substrate processing apparatus, a substrate is carried from the indexer block into the anti-reflection film processing block and the resist film processing block, where the formation of an anti-reflection film and resist film coating processing are applied to the substrate. The substrate is then carried to the exposure device through the interface block. After exposure processing has been applied to the resist film on the substrate by the exposure device, the substrate is transported to the development processing block through the interface block. In the development processing block, development processing is applied to the resist film on the substrate to form a resist pattern thereon, and the substrate is subsequently carried into the indexer block.
  • With recent improvements in the density and integration of devices, making finer resist patterns have become very important. Conventional exposure devices typically perform exposure processing by providing reduction projection of a reticle pattern on a substrate through a projection lens. With such conventional exposure devices, however, the line width of an exposure pattern is determined by the wavelength of the light source of an exposure device, thus making it impossible to make a resist pattern finer than that.
  • For this reason, a liquid immersion method is suggested as a projection exposure method allowing for finer exposure patterns (refer to, e.g., WO99/49504 pamphlet). In the projection exposure device according to the WO99/49504 pamphlet, a liquid is filled between a projection optical system and a substrate, resulting in a shorter wavelength of exposure light on a surface of the substrate. This allows for a finer exposure pattern.
  • However, in the projection exposure device according to the aforementioned WO99/49504 pamphlet, exposure processing is performed with the substrate and the liquid being in contact with each other. Accordingly, part of the component of a resist applied on the substrate is eluted in the liquid. The resist component eluted in the liquid remains on a surface of the substrate, which may become the cause of a defect.
  • The resist component eluted in the liquid contaminates the lens of the exposure device. This may cause a defective dimension and a defective shape of the exposure pattern.
  • SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • It is an object of the invention to provide a substrate processing apparatus and a substrate processing method capable of preventing a component of a photosensitive material on a substrate from being eluted in a liquid in an exposure device.
  • (1)
  • A substrate processing apparatus according to one aspect of the present invention that is arranged adjacent to an exposure device comprises a processing section for applying processing to a substrate, and an interface that is provided on one end of the processing section for exchanging the substrate between the processing section and the exposure device, wherein the processing section includes a first processing unit that forms a photosensitive film made of a photosensitive material on the substrate, a second processing unit that washes the substrate after the formation of the photosensitive film by the first processing unit and before the exposure processing by the exposure device, and a third processing unit that applies development processing to the substrate after the exposure processing by the exposure device.
  • In the substrate processing apparatus, the photosensitive film made of a photo sensitive material is formed on the substrate by the first processing unit. Then, the substrate is subjected to washing processing by the second processing unit. After this, the substrate is transported to the exposure device from the processing section through the interface, where the substrate is subjected to exposure processing. The substrate after the exposure processing is transported to the processing section from the exposure device through the interface, and the substrate is subjected to the development processing in the third processing unit.
  • In this way, the substrate is subjected to washing processing by the second processing unit before the exposure processing by the exposure device. Part of the component of the photosensitive film formed on the substrate by the first processing unit is thus eluted, and washed away. In this case, even if the substrate in contact with a liquid is subjected to the exposure processing by the exposure device, the component of the photosensitive material on the substrate is hardly eluted. This reduces contamination in the exposure device while preventing the component of the photosensitive material from remaining on a surface of the substrate. As a result, processing defects of the substrate that may be generated in the exposure device are reduced.
  • (2)
  • The processing section may comprise a first processing block that includes the first processing unit, a first thermal processing unit that thermally treats the substrate, and a first transport unit that transports the substrate; and a second processing block that includes the second processing unit, the third processing unit, a second thermal processing unit that thermally treats the substrate, and a second transport unit that transports the substrate.
  • In this case, the photosensitive film is formed on the substrate by the first processing unit in the first processing block. Then, the substrate is transported to the first thermal processing unit by the first transport unit, where the substrate is subjected to given thermal treatment. The substrate is subsequently transported to an adjacent other processing block by the first transport unit.
  • Next, in the second processing block, the substrate is subjected to washing processing by the second processing unit. Then, the substrate is transported to the exposure device from the processing section through the interface, where the substrate is subjected to exposure processing. The substrate after the exposure processing is transported to the processing section from the exposure device through the interface.
  • Then, in the second processing block, the substrate is subjected to development processing in the third processing unit. After this, the substrate is transported to the second thermal processing unit by the second transport unit, where the substrate is subjected to given thermal treatment. The substrate is subsequently transported to an adjacent other processing block by the second transport unit.
  • In the substrate processing apparatus, in the second processing block, the substrate before the exposure processing is subjected to washing processing and the substrate after the exposure processing is subjected to development processing. That is, in an existing substrate processing apparatus having the first and third processing units, the addition of the second processing unit to a processing block that includes the third processing unit makes it possible to apply washing processing to the substrate before the exposure processing and to apply development processing to the substrate after the exposure processing by a single processing block. As a result, processing defects of the substrate that may be generated in the exposure device can be reduced at low cost without increasing the footprint of the substrate processing apparatus.
  • (3)
  • The second processing block may be arranged adjacent to an exposure device.
  • In this case, the washing processing can be applied to the substrate immediately before the exposure processing, and the development processing can be applied to the substrate immediately after the exposure processing. This prevents the attachment of particles and the like in the atmosphere to the substrate during the transport of the substrate from the second processing block to the exposure device and from the exposure device to the second processing block. As a result, processing defects of the substrate that may be generated during the exposure processing and the development processing can be reduced.
  • (4)
  • The processing section may further comprise a third processing block that includes a fourth processing unit that forms an anti-reflection film on the substrate before the formation of the photosensitive film by the first processing unit, a third thermal processing unit that thermally treats the substrate, and a third transport unit that transports the substrate.
  • In this case, since the fourth processing unit forms the anti-reflection film on the substrate, potential standing waves and halation generated during the exposure processing can be reduced. As a result, processing defects of the substrate that may be generated during the exposure processing can be reduced more.
  • (5)
  • The substrate processing apparatus may further comprise an indexer that is arranged adjacent to another end of the processing section and carries in the substrate to the processing section and carries out the substrate from said processing section, wherein the third processing block may be arranged adjacent to the indexer.
  • In this case, an anti-reflection film is formed in the third processing block immediately after the transporting of the substrate to the processing section, and then a photosensitive film can be formed in the first processing block subsequently. This enables the smooth formation of the anti-reflection film and the photosensitive film on the substrate.
  • (6)
  • The interface may further include a fifth processing unit that applies given processing to the substrate; a platform on which the substrate is temporarily mounted; a fourth transport unit that transports the substrate between the processing section, the fifth processing unit, and the platform; and a fifth transport unit that transports the substrate between the platform and the exposure device.
  • In this case, the substrate is transported to the fifth processing unit from the processing section by the fourth transport unit. The substrate is subjected to the given processing by the fifth processing unit, and then transported to the platform by the fourth transport unit. After this, the substrate is transported to the exposure device from the platform by the fifth transport unit. The substrate is subjected to the exposure processing by the exposure device, and then transported to the platform from the exposure device by the fifth transport unit. After this, the substrate is transported to the processing section from the platform by the fourth transport unit.
  • The disposition of the fifth processing unit in the interface and the transport of the substrate by the two transport units enable the addition of processing contents without increasing the footprint of the substrate processing apparatus.
  • (7)
  • The fourth transport unit may include first and second holders for holding the substrate, the fourth transport unit may hold the substrate with the first holder during the transport of the substrate before the exposure processing by the exposure device, and may hold the substrate with the second holder during the transport of the substrate after the exposure processing by the exposure device, the fifth transport unit may include third and fourth holders for holding the substrate, and the fifth transport unit may hold the substrate with the third holder during the transport of the substrate before the exposure processing by the exposure device, and may hold the substrate with the fourth holder during the transport of the substrate after the exposure processing by the exposure device.
  • In this case, the first and third holders are used during the transport of the substrate to which no liquid is attached before the exposure processing, while the second and fourth holders are used during the transport of the substrate to which a liquid is attached after the exposure processing. This prevents a liquid from attaching to the first and third holders, which prevents the attachment of a liquid to the substrate before the exposure processing. This makes it possible to prevent contamination of the substrate due to the attachment of particles and the like in the atmosphere. As a result, it is possible to prevent the generation of processing defects due to degradation in the resolution performance or the like in the exposure device.
  • (8)
  • The second holder may be provided below the first holder, and the fourth holder may be provided below the third holder. This prevents a liquid that drops from the second and fourth holders and substrates held thereon from attaching to the first and third holders and substrates held thereon. This reliably prevents a liquid from attaching to the substrate before the exposure processing.
  • (9)
  • The fifth processing unit may include an edge exposure unit that subjects a peripheral portion of the substrate to exposure. In this case, the peripheral portion of the substrate is subjected to the exposure processing by the edge exposure unit.
  • (10)
  • The second processing unit may further dry the substrate after washing the substrate.
  • This prevents the attachment of particles and the like in the atmosphere to the washed substrate. Also, if the washing liquid remains on the washed substrate, the component of the photosensitive material may be eluted in the residual washing liquid. Thus, by drying the washed substrate, it is possible to prevent the component of the photosensitive material on the substrate from being eluted in the washing liquid remaining on the substrate. It is therefore possible to reliably prevent a defective shape of the photosensitive film formed on the substrate and the contamination inside the exposure device. As a result of the foregoing, processing defects of the substrate are reliably prevented.
  • (11)
  • The second processing unit may comprise a substrate holding device that holds the substrate substantially horizontally, a rotation-driving device that rotates the substrate held on the substrate holding device about an axis vertical to the substrate, a washing liquid supplier that supplies a washing liquid onto the substrate held on the substrate holding device, and an inert gas supplier that supplies an inert gas onto the substrate after the washing liquid has been supplied onto the substrate by the washing liquid supplier.
  • In the second processing unit, the substrate is held on the substrate holding device substantially horizontally, and the substrate is rotated about the axis vertical to the substrate by the rotation-driving device. Then, the washing liquid is supplied onto the substrate from the washing liquid supplier, followed by the supply of the inert gas from the inert gas supplier.
  • In this case, since the substrate is rotated as the washing liquid is supplied onto the substrate, the washing liquid on the substrate is constantly moved toward the peripheral portion of the substrate by the centrifugal force, and splashed away. It is thus possible to prevent the component of the photosensitive material eluted in the washing liquid from remaining on the substrate. In addition, since the substrate is rotated as the inert gas is supplied onto the substrate, the washing liquid remaining on the substrate after the washing of the substrate is efficiently removed. This reliably prevents the component of the photosensitive material from remaining on the substrate and the substrate dried reliably. During the transport of the washed substrate to the exposure device, therefore, it is possible to reliably prevent the component of the photosensitive material on the substrate from being further eluted in the washing liquid remaining on the substrate. As a result, it is possible to reliably prevent a defective shape of the photosensitive film formed on the substrate and the contamination inside the exposure device.
  • (12)
  • The inert gas supplier may supply the inert gas so that the washing liquid supplied onto the substrate from the washing liquid supplier is removed from the substrate as the washing liquid moves outwardly from the center of the substrate.
  • This prevents the washing liquid from remaining on the center of the substrate, which reliably prevents the generation of drymarks (dry stains) on the surface of the substrate. Also, during the transport of the washed substrate to the exposure device, it is possible to prevent the component of the photosensitive material from being further eluted in the washing liquid remaining on the substrate. It is thus possible to prevent processing defects of the substrate more reliably.
  • (13)
  • The second processing unit may further comprise a rinse liquid supplier that supplies a rinse liquid onto the substrate after the supply of the washing liquid from the washing liquid supplier and before the supply of the inert gas from the inert gas supplier.
  • This allows the washing liquid to be reliably washed away by the rinse liquid, making it possible to prevent the component of the photosensitive material eluted in the washing liquid from remaining on the substrate more reliably.
  • (14)
  • The inert gas supplier may supply the inert gas so that the rinse liquid supplied onto the substrate from the rinse liquid supplier is removed from the substrate as the rinse liquid moves outwardly from the center of the substrate.
  • This prevents the rinse liquid from remaining on the center of the substrate, which prevents the generation of dry marks on the surface of the substrate reliably. Also, during the transport of the washed substrate to the exposure device, it is possible to reliably prevent the component of the photosensitive material on the substrate from being further eluted in the rinse liquid remaining on the substrate. As a result of the foregoing, it is possible to prevent processing defects of the substrate more reliably.
  • (15)
  • The second processing unit may wash the substrate by supplying a fluid mixture containing a washing liquid and a gas onto the substrate from a fluid nozzle.
  • Since the fluid mixture discharged from the fluid nozzle contains fine droplets, any contaminants attached on the surface of the substrate are stripped off, even if the surface has irregularities. Moreover, even if the film on the substrate has low wettability, the fine droplets strip off the contaminants on the substrate surface, so that the contaminants can be reliably removed from the substrate surface.
  • Consequently, even if the solvent or the like in the film on the substrate is sublimated and the sublimates are attached to the substrate again before the exposure processing, the sublimates attached to the substrate can be reliably removed by the second processing unit. It is therefore possible to reliably prevent the contamination inside the exposure device. As a result of the foregoing, processing defects of the substrate can be reliably reduced.
  • In addition, adjusting the flow rate of the gas allows adjustments to be easily made to the detergency in washing the substrate. Thus, when the film on the substrate is prone to damage, damage to the film on the substrate can be prevented by weakening the detergency. Tough contaminants on the substrate surface can also be removed reliably by strengthening the detergency. By adjusting the detergency in this way according to the properties of the film on the substrate and the degree of contamination, it is possible to prevent damage to the film on the substrate and wash the substrate reliably.
  • (16)
  • The gas may be an inert gas. In this case, it is possible to prevent a chemical influence upon the film on the substrate and the washing liquid while removing the contaminants on the substrate surface more reliably, even if a chemical solution is used as washing liquid.
  • (17)
  • The second processing unit may further dry the substrate after washing the substrate.
  • This prevents the attachment of particles and the like in the atmosphere to the washed substrate. Also, if the washing liquid remains on the washed substrate, the component of the photosensitive film on the substrate may be eluted in the residual washing liquid. Thus, by drying the washed substrate, it is possible to prevent the component of the photosensitive film on the substrate from being eluted in the washing liquid remaining on the substrate. It is therefore possible to reliably prevent a defective shape of the photosensitive film formed on the substrate and the contamination inside the exposure device. As a result of the foregoing, processing defects of the substrate are reliably prevented.
  • (18)
  • The second processing unit may include an inert gas supplier that dries the substrate by supplying an inert gas onto the substrate. The use of the inert gas prevents a chemical influence upon the film on the substrate and the substrate is reliably dried.
  • (19)
  • The fluid nozzle may function as inert gas supplier. In this case, the inert gas is supplied onto the substrate from the fluid nozzle to apply drying processing to the substrate. This obviates the need to provide the inert gas supplier separately from the fluid nozzle. As a result, the washing and drying processing can be reliably applied to the substrate with a simple structure.
  • (20)
  • The second processing unit may further include a substrate holding device that holds the substrate substantially horizontally, and a rotation-driving device that rotates the substrate held on the substrate holding device about an axis vertical to the substrate.
  • In the second processing unit, the substrate is held on the substrate holding device substantially horizontally, and the substrate is rotated about the axis vertical to the substrate by the rotation-driving device. Further, the fluid mixture is supplied onto the substrate from the fluid nozzle, followed by the supply of the inert gas from the inert gas supplier.
  • In this case, since the substrate is rotated as the fluid mixture is supplied onto the substrate, the fluid mixture on the substrate moves toward the peripheral portion of the substrate by the centrifugal force and splashed away. This reliably prevents the deposits of particles and the like removed by the fluid mixture from remaining on the substrate. In addition, since the substrate is rotated as the inert gas is supplied onto the substrate, the fluid mixture remaining on the substrate after the washing of the substrate is efficiently removed. This reliably prevents the deposits of particles and the like from remaining on the substrate and the substrate dried reliably. As a result, processing defects of the substrate are prevented reliably.
  • (21)
  • The second processing unit may supply the inert gas so that the fluid mixture supplied onto the substrate from the fluid nozzle is removed from the substrate as the fluid mixture moves outwardly from the center of the substrate.
  • This prevents the fluid mixture from remaining on the center of the substrate, thus reliably preventing the generation of dry marks on a surface of the substrate. Accordingly, processing defects of the substrate are prevented reliably.
  • (22)
  • The second processing unit may further include a rinse liquid supplier that supplies a rinse liquid onto the substrate, after the supply of the fluid mixture from the fluid nozzle and before the supply of the inert gas from the inert gas supplier.
  • This allows the fluid mixture to be reliably washed away by the rinse liquid, thus reliably preventing the deposits of particles and the like from remaining on the substrate.
  • (23)
  • The fluid nozzle may function as the rinse liquid supplier. In this case, the rinse liquid is supplied from the fluid nozzle. This obviates the need to provide the rinse liquid supplier separately from the fluid nozzle. As a result, the washing and drying processing can be reliably applied to the substrate with a simple structure.
  • (24)
  • The second processing unit may supply the inert gas so that the rinse liquid supplied onto the substrate from the rinse liquid supplier is removed from the substrate as the rinse liquid moves outwardly from the center of the substrate.
  • This prevents the rinse liquid from remaining on the center of the substrate, thus reliably preventing the generation of dry marks on the surface of the substrate. Accordingly, processing defects of the substrate are prevented reliably.
  • (25)
  • The fluid nozzle may have a liquid flow passage through which a liquid flows, a gas flow passage through which a gas flows, a liquid discharge port having an opening that communicates with the liquid flow passage, and a gas discharge port that is provided near the liquid discharge port and has an opening that communicates with the gas flow passage.
  • In this case, the washing liquid flows through the liquid flow passage, and is discharged from the liquid discharge port, while the gas flows through the gas flow passage, and is discharged from the gas discharge port. The washing liquid and gas are mixed outside the fluid nozzle. A mist-like fluid mixture is thus generated.
  • In this way, the fluid mixture is generated by mixing the washing liquid and the gas outside the fluid nozzle. This obviates the need to provide space for mixing the washing liquid and the gas inside the fluid nozzle. As a result, the size of the fluid nozzle can be reduced.
  • (26)
  • A substrate processing method according to another aspect of the present invention for processing a substrate in a substrate processing apparatus that is arranged adjacent to an exposure device and comprises a first processing unit, a second processing unit, and a third processing unit comprises the steps of forming a photosensitive film made of a photosensitive material on the substrate by the first processing unit before the exposure processing by said exposure device, washing the substrate after the formation of the photosensitive film by the first processing unit and before the exposure processing by the exposure device, and applying development processing to the substrate by the third processing unit after the exposure processing by the exposure device.
  • In the substrate processing method, after the formation of the photosensitive film made of a photosensitive material on the substrate by the first processing unit, the substrate is subjected to washing processing by the second processing unit. After this, the substrate is subjected to exposure processing by the exposure device. After the exposure processing, the substrate is subjected to development processing in the third processing unit.
  • In this way, the substrate is subjected to washing processing by the second processing unit before the exposure processing by the exposure device. Part of the component of the photosensitive film formed on the substrate by the first processing unit is thus eluted, and washed away. In this case, even if the substrate in contact with a liquid is subjected to the exposure processing by the exposure device, the component of the photosensitive material on the substrate is hardly eluted. This reduces contamination in the exposure device while preventing the component of the photosensitive material from remaining on a surface of the substrate. As a result, processing defects of the substrate that may be generated in the exposure device can be reduced.
  • (27)
  • The method may further comprise the step of drying the substrate by the second processing unit, after the step of washing the substrate by the second processing unit and before the step of exposure processing by the exposure device.
  • In this case, the washed substrate is dried by the second processing unit, which prevents the attachment of particles and the like in the atmosphere on the washed substrate. Also, if the washing liquid remains on the washed substrate, the component of the photosensitive material may be eluted in the residual washing liquid. Thus, by drying the washed substrate, it is possible to prevent the component of the photosensitive material on the substrate from being eluted in the washing liquid remaining on the substrate. It is therefore possible to reliably prevent a defective shape of the photosensitive film formed on the substrate and the contamination inside the exposure device. As a result of the foregoing, processing defects of the substrate are reliably prevented.
  • According to the invention, the substrate is subjected to washing processing by the second processing unit before the exposure processing by the exposure device. In this case, even if the substrate in contact with a liquid is subjected to the exposure processing by the exposure device, the component of the photosensitive material on the substrate is hardly eluted. This reduces contamination in the exposure device while preventing the component of the photosensitive material from remaining on a surface of the substrate. As a result, processing defects of the substrate that may be generated in the exposure device are reduced.
  • The foregoing and other objects, features, aspects and advantages of the present invention will become more apparent from the following detailed description of the present invention when taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • FIG. 1 is a plan view of a substrate processing apparatus according to an embodiment of the invention;
  • FIG. 2 is a side view of the substrate processing apparatus in FIG. 1 that is seen from the +X direction;
  • FIG. 3 is a side view of the substrate processing apparatus in FIG. 1 that is seen from the −X direction;
  • FIG. 4 is a diagram for use in illustrating the configuration of the washing processing unit;
  • FIGS. 5(a), 5(b), and 5(c) are diagrams for use in illustrating the operation of the washing processing unit;
  • FIG. 6 is a schematic diagram of a nozzle in which a nozzle for washing processing and a nozzle for drying processing are formed integrally;
  • FIG. 7 is a schematic diagram showing another example of the nozzle for drying processing;
  • FIGS. 8(a), 8(b), and 8(c) are diagrams for use in illustrating a method of applying drying processing to a substrate using the nozzle in FIG. 7;
  • FIG. 9 is a schematic diagram showing another example of the nozzle for drying processing;
  • FIG. 10 is a schematic diagram showing another example of the washing processing unit;
  • FIG. 11 is a diagram for use in illustrating a method of applying drying processing to the substrate using the washing processing unit in FIG. 10;
  • FIG. 12 is a diagram for use in illustrating the configuration and operation of the interface transport mechanism;
  • FIG. 13 is a longitudinal cross section showing an example of the internal structure of a two-fluid nozzle for use in washing and drying processing; and
  • FIGS. 14(a), 14(b), and 14(c) are diagrams for use in illustrating a method of applying washing and drying processing to the substrate using the two-fluid nozzle in FIG. 13.
  • DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS
  • A substrate processing apparatus according to embodiments of the invention will be described below with reference to the drawings. A substrate as used in the specification includes a semiconductor substrate, a substrate for a liquid crystal display, a substrate for a plasma display, a glass substrate for a photomask, a substrate for an optical disk, a substrate for a magnetic disk, a substrate for a magneto-optical disk, and a substrate for a photomask.
  • FIG. 1 is a plan view of a substrate processing apparatus according to an embodiment of the invention.
  • FIG. 1 and each of the subsequent drawings is accompanied by the arrows that indicate X, Y, and Z directions perpendicular to one another, for clarification of positions. The X and Y directions are perpendicular to each other in a horizontal plane, and the Z direction corresponds to the vertical direction. In each of the directions, the direction toward an arrow is defined as + direction, and the opposite direction is defined as − direction. The rotation direction about the Z direction is defined as θ direction.
  • As shown in FIG. 1, the substrate processing apparatus 500 includes an indexer block 9, an anti-reflection film processing block 10, a resist film processing block 11, a washing/development processing block 12, and an interface block 13. An exposure device 14 is arranged adjacent to the interface block 13. The exposure device 14 applies exposure processing to substrates W by a liquid immersion method.
  • Each of the indexer block 9, anti-reflection film processing block 10, resist film processing block 11, washing/development processing block 12, and interface block 13 will hereinafter be referred to as a processing block.
  • The indexer block 9 includes a main controller (controller) 30 for controlling the operation of each processing block, a plurality of carrier platforms 60, and an indexer robot IR. The indexer robot IR has a hand IRH for receiving and transferring the substrates W.
  • The anti-reflection film processing block 10 includes thermal processing groups 100, 101 for anti-reflection film, a coating processing group 70 for anti-reflection film, and a first central robot CR1. The coating processing group 70 is arranged opposite to the thermal processing groups 100, 101 with the first central robot CR1 therebetween. The first central robot CR1 has hands CRH1, CRH2 provided one above the other for receiving and transferring the substrates W.
  • A partition wall 15 is arranged between the indexer block 9 and the anti-reflection film processing block 10 for shielding an atmosphere. The partition wall 15 has substrate platforms PASS1, PASS2 provided closely one above the other for receiving and transferring the substrates W between the indexer block 9 and the anti-reflection film processing block 10. The upper substrate platform PASS1 is used in transferring the substrates W from the indexer block 9 to the anti-reflection film processing block 10, and the lower substrate platform PASS2 is used in transferring the substrates W from the anti-reflection film processing block 10 to the indexer block 9.
  • Each of the substrate platforms PASS1, PASS2 has an optical sensor (not shown) for detecting the presence or absence of a substrate W. This enables a determination to be made whether or not a substrate W is on the substrate platform PASS1, PASS2. In addition, each of the substrate platforms PASS1, PASS2 has a plurality of support pins secured thereto. Note that each of substrate platforms PASS3 to PASS10 mentioned below similarly has such optical sensor and support pins.
  • The resist film processing block 11 includes thermal processing groups 110, 111 for resist film, a coating processing group 80 for resist film, and a second central robot CR2. The coating processing group 80 is arranged opposite to the thermal processing groups 110, 111 with the second central robot CR2 therebetween. The second central robot CR2 has hands CRH3, CRH4 provided one above the other for receiving and transferring the substrates W.
  • A partition wall 16 is arranged between the anti-reflection film processing block 10 and the resist film processing block 11 for shielding an atmosphere. The partition wall 16 has substrate platforms PASS3, PASS4 provided closely one above the other for receiving and transferring the substrates W between the anti-reflection film processing block 10 and the resist film processing block 11. The upper substrate platform PASS3 is used in transferring the substrates W from the anti-reflection film processing block 10 to the resist film processing block 11. The lower substrate platform PASS4 is used in transferring the substrates W from the resist film processing block 11 to the anti-reflection film processing block 10.
  • The washing/development processing block 12 includes a thermal processing group 120 for development, a thermal processing group 121 for post-exposure bake, a development processing group 90, a washing processing group 95, and a third central robot CR3. The thermal processing group 121, adjacent to the interface block 13, has substrate platforms PASS7, PASS8 as described below. The development processing group 90 and the washing processing group 95 are arranged opposite to the thermal processing groups 120, 121 with the third central robot CR3 therebetween. The third central robot CR3 has hands CRH5, CRH6 provided one above the other for receiving and transferring the substrates W.
  • A partition wall 17 is arranged between the resist film processing block 11 and the washing/development processing block 12 for shielding an atmosphere. The partition wall 17 has substrate platforms PASS5, PASS6 provided closely one above the other for receiving and transferring the substrates W between the resist film processing block 11 and the washing/development processing block 12. The upper substrate platform PASS5 is used in transferring the substrates W from the resist film processing block 11 to the washing/development processing block 12, and the lower substrate platform PASS6 is used in transferring the substrates W from the washing/development processing block 12 to the resist film processing block 11.
  • The interface block 13 includes a fourth central robot CR4, a feed buffer unit SBF, an interface transport mechanism IFR, and edge exposure units EEW. A return buffer unit RBF and substrate platforms PASS 9, PASS10 are provided under the edge exposure units EEW as described below. The fourth central robot CR4 has hands CRH7, CRH8 provided one above the other for receiving and transferring the substrates W.
  • In the substrate processing apparatus 500 of the embodiment, the indexer block 9, the anti-reflection film processing block 10, resist film processing block 11, washing/development processing block 12, and interface block 13 are sequentially arranged in parallel along the Y direction.
  • FIG. 2 is a side view of the substrate processing apparatus 500 in FIG. 1 that is seen from the + X direction.
  • The coating processing group 70 in the anti-reflection film processing block 10 (see FIG. 1) includes a vertical stack of three coating units BARC. Each of the coating units BARC comprises a spin chuck 71 for rotating a substrate W while holding the substrate W in a horizontal attitude by suction, and a supply nozzle 72 for supplying coating liquid for an anti-reflection film to the substrate W held on the spin chuck 71.
  • The coating processing group 80 in the resist film processing block 11 (see FIG. 1) includes a vertical stack of three coating units RES. Each of the coating units RES comprises a spin chuck 81 for rotating a substrate W while holding the substrate W in a horizontal attitude by suction, and a supply nozzle 82 for supplying coating liquid for a resist film to the substrate W held on the spin chuck 81.
  • The washing/development processing block 12 includes a vertical stack of the development processing group 90 and the washing processing group 95. The development processing group 90 includes a vertical stack of four development processing units DEV. Each of the development processing units DEV comprises a spin chuck 91 for rotating a substrate W while holding the substrate W in a horizontal attitude by suction, and a supply nozzle 92 for supplying development liquid to the substrate W held on the spin chuck 91.
  • The washing processing group 95 includes a washing processing unit SOAK. The washing processing unit SOAK apply washing and drying processing to the substrates W. The washing processing unit SOAK will be described in detail below.
  • The interface block 13 includes a vertical stack of two edge exposure units EEW, a return buffer unit RBF and substrate platforms PASS9, PASS10, and also includes the fourth central robot CR4 (see FIG. 1) and interface transport mechanism IFR. Each of the edge exposure units EEW comprises a spin chuck 98 for rotating a substrate W while holding the substrate W in a horizontal attitude by suction, and a light irradiator 99 for subjecting a peripheral edge of the substrate W held on the spin chuck 98 to exposure.
  • FIG. 3 is a side view of the substrate processing apparatus 500 in FIG. 1 that is seen from the −X direction.
  • In the anti-reflection film processing block 10, the thermal processing group 100 includes a vertical stack of two cooling units (cooling plates) CP, and the thermal processing group 101 includes a vertical stack of four heating units (hot plates) HP and two cooling units CP. The thermal processing group 100 also includes a local controller LC on top thereof for controlling the temperatures of the cooling units CP, and the thermal processing group 101 also includes a local controller LC on top thereof for controlling the temperatures of the-heating units HP and the cooling plates CP.
  • In the resist film processing block 11, the thermal processing group 110 includes a vertical stack of four cooling units CP, and the thermal processing group 110 includes a vertical stack of five heating units HP. The thermal processing group 110 also includes a local controller LC on top thereof for controlling the temperatures of the cooling units CP, and the thermal processing group 111 also includes a local controller LC on top thereof for controlling the temperatures of the heating units HP.
  • In the washing/development processing block 12, the thermal processing group 120 includes a vertical stack of three heating units HP and four cooling units CP, and the thermal processing group 121 includes a vertical stack of four heating units HP, substrate platforms PASS7, PASS8, and two cooling units CP. The thermal processing group 120 also includes a local controller LC on top thereof for controlling the temperatures of the heating units HP and the cooling units CP, and the thermal processing group 121 also includes a local controller LC for controlling the temperatures of the heating units HP and the cooling units CP.
  • Next, the operation of the substrate processing apparatus 500 in this embodiment will be described.
  • Carriers C for storing the substrates W in multiple stages are mounted on the carrier platforms 60, respectively, in the indexer block 9. The indexer robot IR takes out a substrate W yet to be processed which is stored in a carrier C using the hand IRH. Then, the indexer robot IR moves in the ±X direction while rotating in the ±θ direction to transfer the unprocessed substrate W onto the substrate platform PASS1.
  • Although FOUPs (Front Opening Unified Pods) are adopted as the carriers C in this embodiment, SMIF (Standard Mechanical Inter Face) pods or OCs (Open Cassettes) that expose stored substrates W to outside air may also be used, for example. In addition, although linear-type transport robots that move their hands forward or backward by sliding them linearly to a substrate W are used as the indexer robot IR, the first central robot CR1 to the fourth central robot CR4, and the interface transport mechanism IFR, multi-joint type transport robots that linearly move their hands forward and backward by moving their joints may also be used.
  • The unprocessed substrate W that has been transferred onto the substrate platform PASS1 is received by the hand CRH1 of the first central robot CR1 in the anti-reflection film processing block 10. The first central robot CR1 carries the substrate W to the coating processing group 70 with the hand CRH1. The coating processing group 70 forms a coating of an anti-reflection film on a substrate W using a coating unit BARC, in order to reduce potential standing waves and halation generated during exposure.
  • After this, the first central robot CR1 takes out the substrate W after the coating processing from coating processing group 70 with the hand CRH2, and carries the substrate W to the thermal processing group 100 or 101.
  • The first central robot CR1 subsequently takes out the thermally treated substrate W from the thermal processing group 100 or 101 with the hand CRH1, and then transfers the substrate W onto the substrate platform PASS3.
  • The substrate Won the substrate platform PASS3 is received by the hand CRH3 of the second central robot CR2 in the resist film processing block 11. The second central robot CR2 carries the substrate W to the coating processing group 80 with the hand CRH3. The coating processing group 80 forms a coating of a resist film over the substrate W coated with the anti-reflection film by a coating unit RES.
  • After this, the second central robot CR2 takes out the substrate W after the coating processing from the coating processing group 80 with the handCRH4, and carries the substrate W to the thermal processing group 110 or 111.
  • The second central robot CR2 subsequently takes out the thermally treated substrate W from the thermal processing group 110 or 111 with the hand CRH3, and transfers the substrate W onto the substrate platform PASS5.
  • The substrate Won the substrate platform PASS5 is received by the hand CRH5 of the third central robot CR3 in the washing/development processing block 12. The third central robot CR3 carries the substrate W to the washing processing group 95 with the hand CRH5. As described above, the washing processing group 95 applies washing and drying processing to the substrate W by a washing processing unit SOAK.
  • After this, the third central robot CR3 takes out the processed substrate W from the washing processing unit SOAK with the hand CRH5, and transfers the substrate W onto the substrate platform PASS7. The substrate W on the substrate platform PASS7 is received by the upper hand CRH7 of the fourth central robot CR4 in the interface block 13. The fourth central robot CR4 transfers the substrate W to an edge exposure unit EEW. The edge exposure unit EEW applies exposure processing to the peripheral portion of the substrate W.
  • Then, the fourth central robot CR4 takes out the substrate W after the edge exposure processing from the edge exposure unit EEW with the hand CRH7. After this, the fourth central robot CR4 transfers the substrate W onto the substrate platform PASS9 with the hand CRH7.
  • The substrate W on the substrate platform PASS9 is carried into the exposure device 14 by the hand H5 of the interface transport mechanism IFR. After exposure processing has been applied to the substrate W by the exposure device 14, the interface transport mechanism IFR transports the substrate W onto the substrate platform PASS10 with hand H6. The interface transport mechanism IFR will be described below.
  • The substrate W on the substrate platform PASS10 is received by the lower hand CRH8 of the fourth central robot CR4 in the interface block 13. The fourth central robot CR4 carries the substrate W into the thermal processing group 121 in the washing/development processing block 12 with the hand CRH8. The substrate W is subjected to a post-exposure bake (PEB) by the thermal processing group 121. After this, the fourth central robot CR4 takes out the substrate W from the thermal processing group 121 with the hand CRH8, and transfers the substrate W onto the substrate platform PASS8.
  • The substrate Won the substrate platform PASS8 is received by the hand CRH6 of the third central robot CR3 in the washing/development processing block 12. The third central robot CR3 carries the substrate W into the development processing group 90 with the hand CRH6. The development processing group 90 applies development processing to the substrate W by the development processing unit DEV.
  • After this, the third central robot CR3 takes out the substrate W after the development processing from the development processing group 90 with the hand CRH5, and transfers the substrate W to the thermal processing group 120.
  • Then, the third central robot CR3 takes out the thermally treated substrate W from the thermal processing group 120 with the hand CRH6, and transfers the substrate W onto the substrate platform PASS6.
  • If the development processing group 90 is temporarily not capable of applying development processing to the substrate W by, e.g., a failure, the substrate W may temporarily be stored in the return buffer unit RBF in the interface block 13 after the thermal treatment in the thermal processing group 121.
  • The substrate W on the substrate platform PASS6 is transferred onto the substrate platform PASS4 by the hand CRH4 of the second central robot CR2 in the resist film processing block 11. The substrate W on the substrate platform PASS4 is transferred onto the substrate platform PASS2 by the hand CRH2 of the first central robot CR1 in the anti-reflection film processing block 10.
  • The substrate W on the substrate platform PASS2 is stored in a carrier C by the indexer robot IR in the indexer block 9. Each of the processing to the substrate W in the substrate processing apparatus is thus completed.
  • The aforementioned washing processing unit SOAK is now described in detail with reference to the drawings.
  • The configuration of the washing processing unit SOAK is first described. FIG. 4 is a diagram for use in illustrating the configuration of the washing processing unit SOAK.
  • As shown in FIG. 4, the washing processing unit SOAK comprises a spin chuck 621 for rotating a substrate W about the vertical rotation axis passing through the center of the substrate W while horizontally holding the substrate W.
  • The spin chuck 621 is secured to an upper end of a rotation shaft 625, which is rotated via a chuck rotation-drive mechanism 636. An air suction passage (not shown) is formed in the spin chuck 621. With the substrate W being mounted on the spin chuck 621, air inside the air suction passage is discharged, so that a lower surface of the substrate W is sucked onto the spin chuck 621 by vacuum, and the substrate W is held in a horizontal attitude.
  • A first rotation motor 660 is arranged outside the spin chuck 621. The first rotation motor 660 is connected to a first rotation shaft 661. The first rotation shaft 661 is coupled to a first arm 662, which extends in the horizontal direction, and whose end is provided with a nozzle 650 for washing processing.
  • The first rotation shaft 661 is rotated by the first rotation motor 660, so that the first arm 662 swings. This causes the nozzle 650 to move above the substrate W held on the spin chuck 621.
  • A supply pipe 663 for washing processing is arranged so as to pass through the inside of the first rotation motor 660, first rotation shaft 661, and first arm 662. The supply pipe 663 is connected to a washing liquid supply source R1 and a rinse liquid supply source R2 through a valve Va and a valve Vb, respectively. Controlling the opening and closing of the valves Va, Vb allows the selection of the processing liquid supplied to the supply pipe 663 and adjustments of the amount thereof. In the configuration of FIG. 4, when the valve Va is opened, washing liquid is supplied to the supply pipe 663, and when the valve Vb is opened, rinse liquid is supplied to the supply pipe 663.
  • The washing liquid or the rinse liquid is supplied to the nozzle 650 through the supply pipe 663 from the washing liquid supply source R1 or the rinse liquid supply source R2. The washing liquid or the rinse liquid is thus supplied to a surface of the substrate W. Examples of the washing liquid may include pure water, a pure water solution containing a complex (ionized), or a fluorine-based chemical solution. Examples of the rinse liquid may include pure water, carbonated water, hydrogen water, electrolytic ionic water, and HFE (hydrofluoroether).
  • A second rotation motor 671 is arranged outside the spin chuck 621. The second rotation motor 671 is connected to a second rotation shaft 672. The second rotation shaft 672 is coupled to a second arm 673, which extends in the horizontal direction, and whose end is provided with a nozzle 670 for drying processing.
  • The second rotation shaft 672 is rotated by the second rotation motor 671, so that the second arm 673 swings. This causes the nozzle 670 to move above the substrate W held on the spin chuck 621.
  • A supply pipe 674 for drying processing is arranged so as to pass through the inside of the second rotation motor 671, second rotation shaft 672, and second arm 673. The supply pipe 674 is connected to an inert gas supply source R3 through a valve Vc. Controlling the opening and closing of the valve Vc allows adjustments to be made to the amount of the inert gas supplied to the supply pipe 674.
  • The inert gas is supplied to the nozzle 670 through the supply pipe 674 from the inert gas supply source R3. The inert gas is thus supplied to the surface of the substrate W. Nitrogen gas (N2), for example, may be used as the inert gas.
  • When supplying the washing liquid or the rinse liquid onto the surface of the substrate W, the nozzle 650 is positioned above the substrate. When supplying the inert gas onto the surface of the substrate W, the nozzle 650 is retracted to a predetermined position.
  • When supplying the washing liquid or the rinse liquid onto the surface of the substrate W, the nozzle 670 is retracted to a predetermined position. When supplying the inert gas onto the surface of the substrate W, the nozzle 670 is positioned above the substrate W.
  • The substrate W held on the spin chuck 621 is housed in a processing cup 623. A cylindrical partition wall 633 is provided inside the processing cup 623. A discharge space 631 is formed so as to surround the spin chuck 621 for discharging the processing liquid (i.e., washing liquid or rinse liquid) used in processing the substrate W. Also, a liquid recovery space 632 is formed between the processing cup 623 and the partition wall 633, so as to surround the discharge space 631, for recovering the processing liquid used in processing the substrate W.
  • The discharge space 631 is connected with a discharge pipe 634 for directing the processing liquid to a liquid discharge processing device (not shown), while the liquid recovery space 632 is connected with a recovery pipe 635 for directing the processing liquid to a recovery processing device (not shown)
  • A guard 624 is provided above the processing cup 623 for preventing the processing liquid on the substrate W from splashing outward. The guard 624 is configured to be rotation-symmetric with respect to the rotation shaft 625. A liquid discharge guide groove 641 with a V-shaped cross section is formed in a circular shape inwardly of an upper end portion of the guard 624.
  • Also, a liquid recovery guide 642 having an inclined surface that inclines down outwardly is formed inwardly of a lower portion of the guard 624. A partition wall housing groove 643 for receiving the partition wall 633 in the processing cup 623 is formed in the vicinity of the upper end of the liquid recovery guide 642.
  • This guard 624 is provided with a guard lifting mechanism (not shown) composed of a ball screw mechanism or the like. The guard lifting mechanism lifts and lowers the guard 624 between a recovery position in which the liquid recovery guide 642 is positioned opposite to outer edges of the substrate W held on the spin chuck 621 and a discharge position in which the liquid discharge guide groove 641 is positioned opposite to the outer edges of the substrate W held on the spin chuck 621. When the guard 624 is in the recovery position (i.e., the position of the guard shown in FIG. 4), the processing liquid splashed out from the substrate W is directed by the liquid recovery guide 642 to the liquid recovery space 632, and then recovered through the recovery pipe 635. On the other hand, when the guard 624 is in the discharge position, the processing liquid splashed out from the substrate W is directed by the liquid discharge guide groove 641 to the discharge space 631, and then discharged through the discharge pipe 634. With the above-described configuration, discharge and recovery of the processing liquid is performed.
  • The processing operation of the washing processing unit SOAK having the above-described configuration is next described. Note that the operation of each component in the washing processing unit SOAK described below is controlled by the main controller 30 in FIG. 1.
  • When the substrate W is initially carried into the washing processing unit SOAK, the guard 624 is lowered, and the third central robot CR3 in FIG. 1 places the substrate W onto the spin chuck 621. The substrate W on the spin chuck 621 is held by suction.
  • Next, the guard 624 moves to the aforementioned discharge position, and the nozzle 650 moves above the center of the substrate W. Then, the rotation shaft 625 rotates, causing the substrate W held on the spin chuck 621 to rotate. After this, the washing liquid is discharged onto the top surface of the substrate W from the nozzle 650. The substrate W is thus washed, and part of the component of the resist on the substrate W is eluted in the washing liquid. During the washing, the substrate W is rotated as the washing liquid is supplied onto the substrate W. This causes the washing liquid on the substrate W to constantly move toward a peripheral portion of the substrate W by the centrifugal force, and splashed away. It is therefore possible to prevent the component of the resist eluted in the washing liquid from remaining on the substrate W. Note that the aforementioned resist component may be eluted with pure water being poured onto the substrate Wand kept thereon for a certain period. The supply of the washing liquid onto the substrate W may also be executed by a soft spray method using a two-fluid nozzle.
  • After the elapse of a predetermined time, the supply of the washing liquid is stopped, and the rinse liquid is discharged from the nozzle 650. The washing liquid on the substrate W is thus washed away. As a result, it is possible to reliably prevent the resist components eluted in the washing liquid from remaining on the substrate W.
  • After the elapse of another predetermined time, the rotation speed of the rotation shaft 625 decreases. This reduces the amount of the rinse liquid that is shaken off by the rotation of the substrate W, resulting in the formation of a liquid layer L of the rinse liquid over the entire surface of the substrate W, as shown in FIG. 5(a). Alternatively, the rotation of the rotation shaft 625 may be stopped to form the liquid layer L over the entire surface of the substrate W.
  • The embodiment employs the configuration in which the nozzle 650 is used for supplying both the washing liquid and the rinse liquid, so as to supply both the washing liquid and the rinse liquid from the nozzle 650. However, a configuration may also be employed in which nozzles are separately provided for supplying the washing liquid and the rinse liquid.
  • In order to prevent the rinse liquid from flowing to the back surface of the substrate W during the supply of the rinse liquid, pure water may be supplied to the back surface of the substrate W from a back rinsing nozzle (not shown).
  • Note that when using pure water as the washing liquid for washing the substrate W, it is not necessary to supply the rinse liquid.
  • The supply of the rinse liquid is subsequently stopped, and the nozzle 650 retracts to the predetermined position while the nozzle 670 moves above the center of the substrate W. The inert gas is subsequently discharged from the nozzle 670. This causes the rinse liquid around the center of the substrate W to move toward a peripheral portion of the substrate W, leaving the liquid layer L only on the peripheral portion, as shown in FIG. 5(b).
  • Next, as the number of revolutions of the rotation shaft 625 (see FIG. 4) increases, the nozzle 670 gradually moves from above the center of the substrate W to above the peripheral portion thereof, as shown in FIG. 5(c). This causes a great centrifugal force acting on the liquid layer L on the substrate W while allowing the inert gas to be sprayed toward the entire surface of the substrate W, thereby ensuring the removal of the liquid layer L on the substrate W. As a result, the substrate W can be reliably dried.
  • Then, the supply of the inert gas is stopped, and the nozzle 670 retracts to the predetermined position while the rotation of the rotation shaft 625 is stopped. After this, the guard 624 is lowered, and the third central robot CR3 in FIG. 1 carries the substrate W out of the washing processing unit SOAK. The processing operation of the washing processing unit SOAK is thus completed.
  • It is preferred that the position of the guard 624 during washing and drying processing is suitably changed according to the necessity of the recovery or discharge of the processing liquid.
  • Moreover, although the washing processing unit SOAK shown in FIG. 4 includes the nozzle 650 for washing processing and the nozzle 670 for drying processing separately, the nozzle 650 and the nozzle 670 may also be formed integrally, as shown in FIG. 6. This obviates the need to move each of the nozzle 650 and the nozzle 670 separately during the washing or drying processing to the substrate W, thereby simplifying the driving mechanism.
  • A nozzle 770 for drying processing as shown in FIG. 7 may also be used instead of the nozzle 670 for drying processing.
  • The nozzle 770 in FIG. 7 extends vertically downward, and also has branch pipes 771, 772 that extend obliquely downward from sides thereof. A gas discharge port 770 a is formed at the lower end of the branch pipe 771, a gas discharge port 770 b is formed at the lower end of the nozzle 770, and a gas discharge port 770 c is formed at the lower end of the branch pipe 772, each for discharging an inert gas. The discharge port 770 b discharges an inert gas vertically downward, and the discharge ports 770 a, 770 c each discharge an inert gas obliquely downward, as indicated by the arrows in FIG. 7. That is to say, the nozzle 770 discharges the inert gas so as to increase the spraying area downwardly.
  • Now, a washing processing unit SOAK using the nozzle 770 for drying processing applies drying processing to the substrate W as will now be described.
  • FIGS. 8(a), 8(b), 8(c) are diagrams for use in illustrating a method of applying drying processing to the substrate W using the nozzle 770.
  • Initially, a liquid layer L is formed on the surface of the substrate W by the method as described in FIG. 5(a), and then the nozzle 770 moves above the center of the substrate W, as shown in FIG. 8(a). After this, an inert gas is discharged from the nozzle 770. This causes the rinse liquid on the center of the substrate W to move to the peripheral portion of the substrate W, leaving the liquid layer L only on the peripheral portion of the substrate W, as shown in FIG. 8(b). At the time, the nozzle 770 is brought close to the surface of the substrate W so as to reliably move the rinse liquid present on the center of the substrate W.
  • Next, as the number of revolutions of the rotation shaft 625 (see FIG. 4) increases, the nozzle 770 moves upward as shown in FIG. 8(c). This causes a great centrifugal force acting on the liquid layer L on the substrate W while increasing the area to which the inert gas is sprayed on the substrate W. As a result, the liquid layer L on the substrate W is reliably removed. Note that the nozzle 770 can be moved up and down by lifting and lowering the second rotation shaft 672 via a rotation shaft lifting mechanism (not shown) provided to the second rotation shaft 672 in FIG. 4.
  • Alternatively, a nozzle 870 for drying processing as shown in FIG. 9 may be used instead of the nozzle 770. The nozzle 870 in FIG. 9 has a discharge port 870 a whose diameter gradually increases downward. This discharge port 870 a discharges an inert gas vertically downward and obliquely downward as indicated by the arrows in FIG. 9. That is, similarly to the nozzle 770 in FIG. 7, the nozzle 870 discharges the inert gas so as to increase the spraying area downwardly. Consequently, drying processing similar to that using the nozzle 770 can be applied to the substrate W using the nozzle 870.
  • A washing processing unit SOAKa as shown in FIG. 10 may also be used instead of the washing processing unit SOAK shown in FIG. 4.
  • The washing processing unit SOAKa in FIG. 10 is different from the washing processing unit SOAK in FIG. 4 as described below.
  • The washing processing unit SOAKa in FIG. 10 includes above the spin chuck 621 a disk-shaped shield plate 682 having an opening through the center thereof. A support shaft 689 extends vertically downward from around an end of an arm 688, and the shield plate 682 is mounted at a lower end of the support shaft 689 so as to oppose the top surface of the substrate W held on the spin chuck 621.
  • A gas supply passage 690 that communicates with the opening of the shield plate 682 is inserted into the inside of the support shaft 689. A nitrogen gas (N2), for example, is supplied into the gas supply passage 690.
  • The arm 688 is connected with a shield plate lifting mechanism 697 and a shield plate rotation-driving mechanism 698. The shield plate lifting mechanism 697 lifts and lowers the shield plate 682 between a position close to the top surface of the substrate W held on the spin chuck 621 and a position upwardly away from the spin chuck 621.
  • During the drying processing to the substrate W in the washing processing unit SOAKa in FIG. 10, with the shield plate 682 brought close to the substrate W as shown in FIG. 11, an inert gas is supplied to clearance between the substrate W and the shield plate 682 from the gas supply passage 690. This allows the inert gas to be efficiently supplied from the center of the substrate W to the peripheral portion thereof, thereby ensuring the removal of the liquid layer L on the substrate W.
  • Although in the above-described embodiment, the substrate W is subjected to drying processing by spin drying in the washing processing unit SOAK, the substrate W maybe subjected to drying processing by other methods such as a reduced pressure drying method or an air knife drying method.
  • Although in the above-described embodiment, the inert gas is supplied from the nozzle 670 with the liquid layer L of the rinse liquid being formed, the following method may be applied when the liquid layer L of the rinse liquid is not formed or the rinse liquid is not used. That is, the liquid layer of washing liquid is shaken off once by rotating the substrate W, and an inert gas is then immediately supplied from the nozzle 670 to thoroughly dry the substrate W.
  • As described above, in the substrate processing apparatus 500 according to the embodiment, the substrate W is subjected to the washing processing by the washing processing unit SOAK before the exposure processing by the exposure device 14. During this washing processing, part of the component of the resist on the substrate W is eluted in the washing liquid or the rinse liquid, and washed away. Therefore, even if the substrate W is in contact with liquid in the exposure device 14, the component of the resist on the substrate W is hardly eluted in the liquid. This reduces contamination in the exposure device 14 while preventing the resist component from remaining on the surface of the substrate W. As a result, processing defects of the substrate W that may be generated in the exposure device 14 can be reduced.
  • In addition, the washing processing unit SOAK applies the drying processing to the substrate after the washing processing, which prevents the attachment of particles in the atmosphere to the substrate W during the transport of the substrate W after the washing processing. This prevents contamination of the substrate W.
  • Moreover, the washing/development processing block 12 is arrange adjacent to the interface block 13. In this case, the washing processing can be applied to the substrate W immediately before the exposure processing by the exposure device 14, and the development processing can be applied to the substrate W immediately after the exposure processing by the exposure device 14. This prevents the attachment of particles and the like in the atmosphere to the substrate W during the transport of the substrate W from the washing/development processing block 12 to the exposure device 14 and from the exposure device 14 to the washing/development processing block 12. As a result, processing defects of the substrate W that may be generated during the exposure processing and the development processing can be sufficiently reduced.
  • In addition, the washing processing unit SOAK applies the drying processing to the substrate W by spraying the inert gas to the substrate W from the center to the peripheral portion thereof while rotating the substrate W. This reliably removes the washing liquid and the rinse liquid on the substrate W, which reliably prevents particles and the like in the atmosphere from attaching to the washed substrate W. This prevents contamination of the substrate W reliably while preventing the generation of dry marks on the surface of the substrate W.
  • In addition, the washing liquid and the rinse liquid are reliably prevented from remaining on the washed substrate W, so that the resist components are reliably prevented from being eluted in the washing liquid and the rinse liquid during the transport of the substrate W from the washing processing unit SOAK to the exposure device 14. This prevents a defective shape of the resist film and the contamination inside the exposure device 14.
  • As a result of the foregoing, processing defects of the substrate W can be reliably prevented.
  • The interface transport mechanism IFR is next described. FIG. 12 is a diagram for use in illustrating the configuration and operation of the interface transport mechanism IFR.
  • The configuration of the interface transport mechanism IFR is first described. As shown in FIG. 12, a movable base 21 in the interface transport mechanism IFR is threadably mounted to a screwed shaft 22. The screwed shaft 22 is rotatably supported with support bases 23 so as to extend in the X direction. One end of the screwed shaft 22 is provided with a motor M1, which causes the screwed shaft 22 to rotate and the movable base 21 to horizontally move in the ±X direction.
  • A hand support base 24 is mounted on the movable base 21 so as to rotate in the ±θ direction while moving up and down in the ±Z direction. The hand support base 24 is coupled to a motor M2 in the movable base 21 through a rotation shaft 25, and rotated by the motor M2. Two hands H5, H6 for holding the substrate W in a horizontal attitude are mounted to the hand support base 24 one above the other so as to move forward and backward.
  • The operation of the interface transport mechanism IFR is next described. The operation of the interface transport mechanism IFR is controlled by the main controller 30 in FIG. 1.
  • The interface transport mechanism IFR initially rotates the hand support base 24 at the position A in FIG. 12 while lifting the hand support base 24 in the +Z direction, to allow the upper hand H5 to enter the substrate platform PASS9. When the hand H5 has received the substrate W in the substrate platform PASS9, the interface transport mechanism IFR retracts the hand H5 from the substrate platform PASS9, and lowers the hand support base 24 in the −Z direction.
  • The interface transport mechanism IFR subsequently moves in the −X direction, and rotates the hand support base 24 at the position B while allowing the hand H5 to enter a substrate inlet 14 a in the exposure device 14 (see FIG. 1). After the hand H5 has carried the substrate W into the substrate inlet 14 a, the interface transport mechanism IFR retracts the hand H5 from the substrate inlet 14 a.
  • Then, the interface transport mechanism IFR allows the lower hand H6 to enter a substrate outlet 14 b in the exposure device 14 (see FIG. 1). When the hand H6 has received the substrate W after the exposure processing from the substrate outlet 14 b, the interface transport mechanism IFR retracts the hand H6 from the substrate outlet 14 b.
  • After this, the interface transport mechanism IFR moves in the +X direction, and rotates the hand support base 24 at the position A while lifting the hand support base 24 in the +Z direction, to allow the hand H6 to enter the substrate platform PASS10 and transfer the substrate W onto the substrate platform PASS10.
  • If the exposure device 14 is not capable of receiving the substrate W during the transport of the substrate W from the substrate platform PASS9 to the exposure device 14, the substrate W is temporarily stored in the feed buffer unit SBF.
  • As described above, in this embodiment, the hand H5 of the interface transport mechanism IFR is used during the transport of the substrate W from the substrate platform PASS9 to the exposure device 14, while the hand H6 is used during the transport of the substrate W from the exposure device 14 to the substrate platform PASS10. That is, the hand H6 is used for transporting the substrate W to which a liquid is attached after the exposure processing, while the hand H5 is used for transporting the substrate W to which no liquid is attached. This prevents the liquid on the substrate W from attaching to the hand H5.
  • Moreover, since the hand H6 is arranged below the hand H5, even if a liquid drops from the hand H6 and the substrate W held thereon, the liquid will not attach to the hand H5 and the substrate W held thereon.
  • Furthermore, as described above, the fourth central robot CR4 also employs the lower hand CRH8 during the transport of the substrate W to which a liquid is attached after the exposure processing (between the substrate platform PASS10 and the thermal processing group 121), and employs the upper hand CRH7 during the transport of the substrate W to which no liquid is attached before the exposure processing (between the substrate platform PASS7 and the edge exposure units EEW, and between the edge exposure units EEW and the substrate platform PASS9). This prevents a liquid from attaching to the substrate W before the exposure processing also in the fourth central robot CR4.
  • As a result of the foregoing, a liquid is prevented from attaching to the substrate W before the exposure processing which prevents the contamination of the substrate W due to the attachment of particles and the like in the atmosphere. This prevents the generation of processing defects of the substrate W due to degradation in the resolution performance and the like in the exposure device 14.
  • Although in this embodiment, the single interface transport mechanism IFR is used for transporting the substrate W, a plurality of interface transport mechanisms IFR may also be used for transporting the substrate W.
  • The operation and the configuration of the interface transport mechanism IFR may also be modified according to the positions of the substrate inlet 14 a and the substrate outlet 14 b of the exposure device 14. For example, when the substrate inlet 14 a and the substrate outlet 14 b in the exposure device 14 are positioned opposite to the position A in FIG. 12, the screwed shaft 22 in FIG. 12 may be omitted.
  • Furthermore, the numbers of the coating units BARC, RES, the development processing units DEV, the washing processing unit SOAK, the heating units HP, and the cooling units CP may suitably be changed according to the processing speed of each processing block.
  • In addition, a two-fluid nozzle shown in FIG. 13 may also be used in the washing processing unit SOAK, instead of one or both the nozzle 650 for washing processing and the nozzle 670 for drying processing shown in FIG. 4
  • FIG. 13 is a longitudinal cross section showing an example of the internal structure of the two-fluid nozzle 950 for use in washing and drying processing. The two-fluid nozzle 950 is capable of selectively discharging a gas, a liquid, and a fluid mixture of the gas and liquid.
  • The two-fluid nozzle 950 in this embodiment is so-called an external-mix type. The external-mix type two-fluid nozzle 950 shown in FIG. 13 comprises an inner body portion 311 and an outer body portion 312. The inner body portion 311 is composed of, e.g., quartz, and the outer body portion 312 is composed of a fluororesin such as PTFE (polytetrafluoroethylene).
  • A cylindrical liquid passage 311 b is formed along the central axis of the inner body portion 311. The liquid passage 311 b is provided with the supply pipe 663 shown in FIG. 4 for washing processing. Washing liquid or rinse liquid supplied from the supply pipe 663 is thus introduced into the liquid passage 311 b.
  • A liquid discharge port 311 a that communicates with the liquid passage 311 b is formed at a lower end of the inner body portion 311. The inner body portion 311 is inserted into the outer body portion 312. Upper ends of the inner body portion 311 and the outer body portion 312 are joined together, while lower ends thereof are not joined.
  • A cylindrical gas passage 312 b is formed between the inner body portion 311 and the outer body portion 312. A gas discharge port 312 a that communicates with the gas passage 312 b is formed at the lower end of the outer body portion 312. The supply pipe 674 shown in FIG. 4 for drying processing is mounted to a peripheral wall of the outer body portion 312, so as to communicate with the gas passage 312 b. An inert gas supplied from the supply pipe 674 is thus introduced into the gas passage 312 b.
  • The diameter of the gas passage 312 b decreases downward in the vicinity of the gas discharge port 312 a. As a result, the velocity of flow of the inert gas is accelerated, and the inert gas is discharged from the gas discharge port 312 a.
  • The washing liquid discharged from the liquid discharge port 311 a and the inert gas discharged from the gas discharge port 312 a are mixed outside near the lower end of the two-fluid nozzle 950 to generate a mist-like fluid mixture that contains fine droplets of the washing liquid.
  • FIGS. 14(a), 14(b), 14(c) are diagrams for use in illustrating a method of applying washing and drying processing to the substrate W using the two-fluid nozzle 950 in FIG. 13.
  • The substrate W is initially held on the spin chuck 621 by suction, as shown in FIG. 4, and rotates together with the rotation of the rotation shaft 625. The rotation speed of the rotation shaft 625 is, e.g., about 500 rpm.
  • In this state, as shown in FIG. 14(a), the two-fluid nozzle 950 discharges the mist-like fluid mixture of the washing liquid and the inert gas onto the top surface of the substrate W while gradually moving from above the center of the substrate W to above the peripheral portion thereof. In this way, the fluid mixture is sprayed onto the entire surface of the substrate W from the two-fluid nozzle 950 to wash the substrate W.
  • Next, the supply of the fluid mixture is stopped, and the rotation speed of the rotation shaft 625 decreases while the rinse liquid is discharged from the two-fluid nozzle 950 onto the substrate W, as shown in FIG. 14(b). The rotation speed of the rotation shaft 625 is, e.g., about 10 rpm. A liquid layer L of the rinse liquid is thus formed on the entire surface of the substrate W. Alternatively, the rotation of the rotation shaft 625 may be stopped to form the liquid layer L on the entire surface of the substrate W. When pure water is used as the washing liquid in the fluid mixture for washing the substrate W, the supply of the rinse liquid may be omitted.
  • After the formation of the liquid layer L, the supply of the rinse liquid is stopped. Then, the inert gas is discharged onto the substrate W from the two-fluid nozzle 950, as shown in FIG. 14(c). This causes the washing liquid on the center of the substrate W to move to the peripheral portion of the substrate W, leaving the liquid layer L only on the peripheral portion.
  • Then, the rotation speed of the rotation shaft 625 increases. The rotation speed of the rotation shaft 625 is, e.g., about 100 rpm. This causes a great centrifugal force acting on the liquid layer L on the substrate W, allowing the removal of the liquid layer L on the substrate W. As a result, the substrate W is dried.
  • The two-fluid nozzle 950 may gradually move from above the center of the substrate W to above the peripheral portion thereof when removing the liquid layer L on the substrate W. This allows the inert gas to be sprayed to the entire surface of the substrate W, which ensures the removal of the liquid layer L on the substrate W. As a result, the substrate W can be reliably dried.
  • As described above, in the two-fluid nozzle in FIG. 13, the fluid mixture discharged from the two-fluid nozzle 950 contains fine droplets of the washing liquid. Therefore, even if the surface of the substrate W has irregularities, any contaminants attached on the surface of the substrate W can be stripped off. The contaminants on the surface of the substrate W can thus be reliably removed. Moreover, even if the films on the substrate W have low wettability, the fine droplets of the washing liquid strip off the contaminants on the surface of the substrate W, so that the contaminants can be reliably removed from the surface of the substrate W.
  • As a result, even if the solvent or the like in a resist is sublimated in the heating units HP and the sublimates are attached to the substrate W again when thermal processing is applied to the substrate W by the heating units HP before the exposure processing, the sublimates attached to the substrate W can be reliably removed by the washing processing unit SOAK. It is therefore possible to reliably prevent the contamination inside the exposure device 14.
  • In addition, adjusting the flow rate of the inert gas allows adjustments to be easily made to the detergency in washing the substrate W. Thus, when the organic films (i.e., a resist film) on the substrate W are prone to damage, damage to the organic films on the substrate W can be prevented by weakening the detergency. Tough contaminants on the surface of the substrate W can also be removed reliably by strengthening the detergency. By adjusting the detergency in this way according to the properties of the organic films on the substrate W and the degree of contamination, it is possible to prevent damage to the organic films on the substrate W and wash the substrate W reliably.
  • Moreover, the external-mix type two-fluid nozzle 950 generates the fluid mixture by mixing the washing liquid and the inert gas outside the two-fluid nozzle 950. The inert gas and the washing liquid flow through the separate flow passages, respectively, in the two-fluid nozzle 950. This prevents the washing liquid from remaining in the gas passage 312 b, allowing the inert gas to be discharged independently from the two-fluid nozzle 950. Also, the rinse liquid can be discharged independently from the two-fluid nozzle 950 by supplying the rinse liquid from the supply pipe 663. This allows the fluid mixture, the inert gas, and the rinse liquid to be selectively discharged from the two-fluid nozzle 950.
  • Furthermore, the use of the two-fluid nozzle 950 obviates the need to provide nozzles for supplying the washing liquid or the rinse liquid to the substrate W and for supplying the inert gas to the substrate W separately. This provides reliable washing and drying of the substrate W with a simple structure.
  • Although, in this embodiment, the two-fluid nozzle 950 is used to supply the rinse liquid to the substrate W, a separate nozzle may also be used for supplying the rinse liquid to the substrate W.
  • Moreover, in this embodiment, although the two-fluid nozzle 950 is used to supply the inert gas to the substrate W, a separate nozzle may also be used for supplying the inert gas to the substrate W.
  • In this embodiment, the anti-reflection film processing block 10, the resist film processing block 11, and the washing/development processing block 12 correspond to a processing section; the interface block 13 corresponds to an interface; the indexer block 9 corresponds to an indexer; the coating units RES correspond to a first processing unit; the resist film processing block 11 corresponds to a first processing block; the washing processing units SOAK, SOAKa correspond to a second processing unit; the development processing units DEV correspond to a third processing unit; the washing/development processing block 12 corresponds to a second processing block; the coating units BARC correspond to a fourth processing unit; the anti-reflection film processing block 10 corresponds to a third processing block; and the resist film corresponds to a photosensitive film.
  • The heating units HP and the cooling units CP correspond to first to third thermal processing units; the second central robot CR2 corresponds to a first transport unit; the third central robot CR3 corresponds to a second transport unit; the first central robot CR1 corresponds to a third transport unit; the fourth central robot CR4 corresponds to a fourth transport unit; the interface transport mechanism IFR corresponds to a fifth transport unit; the hand CRH 7 corresponds to a first holder; the hand CRH8 corresponds to a second holder; the hand H5 corresponds to a third holder; the hand H6 corresponds to a fourth holder; and the substrate platforms PASS9, 10 correspond to a platform.
  • The spin chuck 621 corresponds to a substrate holding device; the rotation shaft 625 and the chuck rotation-drive mechanism 636 correspond to a rotation-drive device; the nozzle 650 for washing processing corresponds to a washing liquid supplier and a rinse liquid supplier; and the nozzles 670, 770, 870 for drying processing correspond to an inert gas supplier.
  • The two-fluid nozzle 950 corresponds to a fluid nozzle; the liquid passage 311 b corresponds to a liquid flow passage; and the gas passage 312 b corresponds to a gas flow passage.
  • Although the present invention has been described and illustrated in detail, it is clearly understood that the same is by way of illustration and example only and is not to be taken by way of limitation, the spirit and scope of the present invention being limited only by the terms of the appended claims.

Claims (27)

  1. 1. A substrate processing apparatus that is arranged adjacent to an exposure device, comprising:
    a processing section for applying processing to a substrate; and
    an interface that is provided on one end of said processing section for exchanging the substrate between said processing section and said exposure device, wherein
    said processing unit includes:
    a first processing unit that forms a photosensitive film made of a photosensitive material on the substrate;
    a second processing unit that washes the substrate after the formation of said photosensitive film by said first processing unit and before the exposure processing by said exposure device; and
    a third processing unit that applies development processing to the substrate after the exposure processing by said exposure device.
  2. 2. The substrate processing apparatus according to claim 1, wherein
    said processing section comprises:
    a first processing block that includes said first processing unit, a first thermal processing unit that thermally treats the substrate, and a first transport unit that transports the substrate; and
    a second processing block that includes said second processing unit, said third processing unit, a second thermal processing unit that thermally treats the substrate, and a second transport unit that transports the substrate.
  3. 3. The substrate processing apparatus according to claim 2, wherein
    said second processing block is arranged adjacent to an exposure device
  4. 4. The substrate processing apparatus according to claim 2, wherein
    said processing section further comprises a third processing block that includes a fourth processing unit that forms an anti-reflection film on the substrate before the formation of said photosensitive film by said first processing unit, a third thermal processing unit that thermally treats the substrate, and a third transport unit that transports the substrate.
  5. 5. The substrate processing apparatus according to claim 4, further comprising an indexer that is arranged adjacent to another end of said processing section and carries in the substrate to said processing section and carries out the substrate from said processing section, wherein
    said third processing block is arranged adjacent to said indexer.
  6. 6. The substrate processing apparatus according to claim 1, wherein
    said interface further includes:
    a fifth processing unit that applies given processing to the substrate;
    a platform on which the substrate is temporarily mounted;
    a fourth transport unit that transports the substrate between said processing section, said fifth processing unit, and said platform; and
    a fifth transport unit that transports the substrate between said platform and said exposure device.
  7. 7. The substrate processing apparatus according to claim 6, wherein
    said fourth transport unit includes first and second holders for holding the substrate,
    said fourth transport unit holds the substrate with said first holder during the transport of the substrate before the exposure processing by said exposure device, and holds the substrate with said second holder during the transport of the substrate after the exposure processing by said exposure device,
    said fifth transport unit includes third and fourth holders for holding the substrate, and
    said fifth transport unit holds the substrate with said third holder during the transport of the substrate before the exposure processing by said exposure device, and holds the substrate with said fourth holder during the transport of the substrate after the exposure processing by said exposure device.
  8. 8. The substrate processing apparatus according to claim 7, wherein
    said second holder is provided below said first holder, and said fourth holder is provided below said third holder.
  9. 9. The substrate processing apparatus according to claim 6, wherein
    said fifth processing unit includes an edge exposure unit that subjects a peripheral portion of the substrate to exposure.
  10. 10. The substrate processing apparatus according to claim 1, wherein
    said second processing unit further dries the substrate after washing the substrate.
  11. 11. The substrate processing apparatus according to claim 10, wherein
    said second processing unit comprises:
    a substrate holding device that holds the substrate substantially horizontally;
    a rotation-driving device that rotates the substrate held on said substrate holding device about an axis vertical to the substrate;
    a washing liquid supplier that supplies a washing liquid onto the substrate held on said substrate holding device; and
    an inert gas supplier that supplies an inert gas onto the substrate after the washing liquid has been supplied onto the substrate by said washing liquid supplier.
  12. 12. The substrate processing apparatus according to claim 11, wherein
    said inert gas supplier supplies the inert gas so that the washing liquid supplied onto the substrate from said washing liquid supplier is removed from the substrate as the washing liquid moves outwardly from the center of the substrate.
  13. 13. The substrate processing apparatus according to claim 11, wherein
    said second processing unit further comprises a rinse liquid supplier that supplies a rinse liquid onto the substrate after the supply of the washing liquid from said washing liquid supplier and before the supply of the inert gas from said inert gas supplier.
  14. 14. The substrate processing apparatus according to claim 13, wherein
    said inert gas supplier supplies the inert gas so that the rinse liquid supplied onto the substrate from said rinse liquid supplier is removed from the substrate as the rinse liquid moves outwardly from the center of the substrate.
  15. 15. The substrate processing apparatus according to claim 1, wherein
    said second processing unit washes the substrate by supplying a fluid mixture containing a washing liquid and a gas onto the substrate from a fluid nozzle.
  16. 16. The substrate processing apparatus according to claim 15, wherein
    said gas is an inert gas.
  17. 17. The substrate processing apparatus according to claim 15, wherein
    said second processing unit further dries the substrate after washing the substrate.
  18. 18. The substrate processing apparatus according to claim 17, wherein
    said second processing unit includes an inert gas supplier that dries the substrate by supplying an inert gas onto the substrate.
  19. 19. The substrate processing apparatus according to claim 18, wherein
    said fluid nozzle functions as said inert gas supplier.
  20. 20. The substrate processing apparatus according to claim 18, wherein
    said second processing unit further includes:
    a substrate holding device that holds the substrate substantially horizontally; and
    a rotation-driving device that rotates the substrate held on said substrate holding device about an axis vertical to the substrate.
  21. 21. The substrate processing apparatus according to claim 18, wherein
    said second processing unit supplies the inert gas so that the fluid mixture supplied onto the substrate from said fluid nozzle is removed from the substrate as the fluid mixture moves outwardly from the center of the substrate.
  22. 22. The substrate processing apparatus according to claim 18, wherein
    said second processing unit further includes a rinse liquid supplier that supplies a rinse liquid onto the substrate, after the supply of the fluid mixture from said fluid nozzle and before the supply of the inert gas from said inert gas supplier.
  23. 23. The substrate processing apparatus according to claim 22, wherein
    said fluid nozzle functions as said rinse liquid supplier.
  24. 24. The substrate processing apparatus according to claim 22, wherein
    said second processing unit supplies the inert gas so that the rinse liquid supplied onto the substrate from said rinse liquid supplier is removed from the substrate as the rinse liquid moves outwardly from the center of the substrate.
  25. 25. The substrate processing apparatus according to claim 15, wherein
    said fluid nozzle has a liquid flow passage through which a liquid flows, a gas flow passage through which a gas flows, a liquid discharge port having an opening that communicates with said liquid flow passage, and a gas discharge port that is provided near said liquid discharge port and has an opening that communicates with said gas flow passage.
  26. 26. A substrate processing method for processing a substrate in a substrate processing apparatus that is arranged adjacent to an exposure device and comprises a first processing unit, a second processing unit, and a third processing unit, comprising the steps of:
    forming a photosensitive film made of a photosensitive material on the substrate by said first processing unit before the exposure processing by said exposure device;
    washing the substrate after the formation of said photosensitive film by said first processing unit and before the exposure processing by said exposure device; and
    applying development processing to the substrate by said third processing unit after the exposure processing by said exposure device.
  27. 27. The substrate processing method according to claim 26, further comprising the step of drying the substrate by said second processing unit, after said step of washing the substrate by said second processing unit and before said step of exposure processing by said exposure device.
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