High- temperature single wafer SPM tool ships for 3D-NAND production

High ion dose doped photo-resist (PR) wet strip processes are now supported with a single-wafer sulphuric peroxide mixture (SPM) systems by ACM Research. The 300mm single wafer SPM systems are designed for wet clean and etch processes in advanced logic, DRAM and 3D-NAND IC manufacturing. Its introduction extends ACM’s SPM product offering to include higher temperature SPM steps that are emerging for more advanced production nodes at 10nm and beyond.

Most of today’s SPM wet processes operate with sulphuric acid and peroxide mixture temperatures below 145 degrees C. These processes are widely used for PR stripping and post-etch, medium dose of post-implant and post-CMP (chemical mechanical polishing) cleaning. ACM’s Ultra C Tahoe was introduced in 2018. It combines bench SPM and single-wafer cleaning in an integrated system, with reduced sulphuric acid consumption and sulphuric acid waste generation.

As technology nodes extend to 10nm and beyond, the number of SPM process steps that must use higher temperatures of 145 degrees C to more than 200 degrees C is increasing. PR stripping after high-dose energy implant, wet stripping without using a dry ash process, and special metal film removal processes all require higher temperature SPM. ACM’s new single-wafer SPM tool addresses this transition with support for higher temperatures. It additionally delivers shorter process times, and organic defect removal with significantly less film loss than most post-clean and PR wet strip processes, according to ACM Research.

The single-wafer SPM tool uses a unique multi-level gradient heating system to preheat sulphuric acid, which is then mixed with hydrogen peroxide to achieve high temperatures. ACM’s chamber configuration supports additional chemicals and features a chemical in-line mix (CIM) system for dynamically setting the chemical mixing ratio and temperature in the process. The tool also brings to bear additional advanced options that can be incorporated into the process chamber, including ACM’s patented SAPS and TEBO megasonic cleaning technologies.

“ACM’s Single-Wafer SPM tool builds on the proven performance of our Ultra C Tahoe, which addresses most SPM process steps that operate at regular temperatures,” said Dr. David Wang, chief executive officer and president of ACM Research. “Together, the Tahoe and single-wafer SPM tools address virtually all SPM processes currently deployed in advanced semiconductor manufacturing.  We continue to develop new process capabilities, including advanced hot isopropyl alcohol (IPA) drying and super critical CO2 dry technologies, with the goal of becoming a major global cleaning solution provider.”


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