Removal of particulate contaminants is one of the most challenging and critical steps in current CMOS-technology nodes. The continued miniaturization and constant introduction of novel materials in integrated circuit fabrication has led to extremely stringent surface preparation requirements with critical particle diameter and count decreasing to 10 nm and 15 #/300mm wafer, respectively by 2016 for front end processes. Defects in the form of particles not only affect the overall yield but also severely degrade the performance of the microchips. The importance of particle removal and surface cleaning is not only limited to microelectronics industry but spreads far beyond to diverse areas including pharmaceuticals, aerospace, automotive, defense, optics, medical, and many others. There is a tremendous and growing interest in the development of novel techniques that can effectively remove nanoparticles without causing any surface damage (e.g. microroughness, microscratches, pits, localized corrosion, pattern breakage). This requires the use of sophisticated and economical inspection techniques that can detect and measure nanoparticles below the limit of today’s conventional defect inspection tools.
The main objective of this symposium is to cover innovative, practical, and cost-effective techniques and methodologies for characterization and removal of nanoparticles (dielectric and metals) on/from various blanket and patterned substrates of interest mainly to semiconductor industry but also those that can be extended to other technological areas and applications. These surfaces/substrates include but are not limited to SiGe, Si, Ge, SiO2, Si3N4, high k-metal gate and low k-Cu interconnect structures, graphene, III-V materials (GaAs, InAs) and extreme UV mask layers (Ru, Cr, CrON, Ta, TaN, Mo, SiON, SiO2, Si, etc). The common sources of nanoparticles in microelectronics fabrication are various processing steps such as chemical mechanical planarization, chemical vapor deposition (low and atmospheric pressure, plasma enhanced), physical vapor deposition (e-beam, sputtering), etching (chemical, physical/plasma), plasma ashing as well as mechanical operations associated with processing tools and wafer handling and transport. The symposium will comprise of sessions that will focus on emerging wet and dry cleaning techniques and detection systems with capabilities to classify particles based on their size, morphology, structure, and elemental composition. One or two sessions will also be dedicated to understanding of the fundamental science and physics behind particle detection and removal mechanisms that will accelerate the development of cleaning and metrology tools for future manufacturing technologies.