Measurement of the Mechanical Stability of Semiconductor Line Structures in Relevant Media
ECS Transactions 16(40): 13-21
Enhanced particle removal processes in wet cleaning of semiconductor wafers can cause significant lateral forces on surface structures. These forces have to be limited to below the stability of the (nano) structures on the surface to prevent damage. A mechanical fracture test based on atomic force microscope manipulation was used in liquid media (deionized water, isopropanol, and propylene carbonate) to measure the lateral stability of polysilicon line structures. The results are compared to previously reported results in air. All liquid media investigated here showed a stabilizing effect. Maximum stability was found for immersion in isopropanol. The size of the damage generated was mainly influenced by the viscosity of the liquids. The results do not support a stress corrosion cracking process.