Measurement of the mechanical stability of semiconductor line structures in drying liquids with application to pattern collapse
Journal of Micromechanics and Microengineering 21(2): 025001
Gigler, Alexander M.
Stark, Robert W.
Enhanced particle removal processes in wet cleaning as well as drying processes of semiconductor wafers can cause significant lateral forces on surface structures. These forces, however, must not exceed the mechanical stability of structures on the wafer. Thus, a mechanical fracture test was used to assess the lateral mechanical stability of polysilicon line structures in relevant process liquids. The mechanical test was based on nanomanipulation with an atomic force microscope. Compared to fracture tests in air, data acquired in liquid isopropanol revealed a stabilizing effect. The differences in fracture forces can be attributed to a stress corrosion process on the surface. The size of the generated damage was influenced by the viscosity of the surrounding media.