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Processing condition inspection and optimization method of damage recovery process, damage recovering system and storage medium

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Processing condition inspection and optimization method of damage recovery process, damage recovering system and storage medium


A processing condition inspection method of a damage recovery process for reforming a film having OH groups generated by damages from a predetermined process by using a processing gas includes preparing a substrate having an OH group containing resin film, measuring an initial film thickness of the OH group containing resin film, performing a damage recovery process on the substrate after measuring the initial film thickness, measuring a film thickness of the OH group containing resin film after the damage recovery process, calculating a film thickness difference of the OH group containing resin film before and after the damage recovery process, and determining whether processing conditions of the damage recovery process are appropriate or inappropriate based on the film thickness difference.
Related Terms: Resin Inspect

USPTO Applicaton #: #20130025537 - Class: 118697 (USPTO) - 01/31/13 - Class 118 
Coating Apparatus > Program, Cyclic, Or Time Control >Having Prerecorded Program Medium

Inventors: Reiko Sasahara, Jun Tamura, Shigeru Tahara

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The Patent Description & Claims data below is from USPTO Patent Application 20130025537, Processing condition inspection and optimization method of damage recovery process, damage recovering system and storage medium.

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CROSS-REFERENCES TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application is a divisional application of pending U.S. application Ser. No. 12/326,507, filed Dec. 2, 2008, the entire contents of which is incorporated herein by reference. U.S. application Ser. No. 12/326,507 claims the benefit of priority under 119(e) of U.S. Provisional Application No. 61/082,054, filed on Jul. 18, 2008 and U.S. Provisional Application No. 61/034,510, filed on Mar. 7, 2008, and also claims the benefit of priority to Japanese Patent Application No. 2007-312562, filed on Dec. 3, 2007 and Japanese Patent Application No. 2008-147701, filed on Jun. 5, 2008.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to a processing condition inspection method and a processing condition optimization method of a damage recovery process for a film, e.g., a low dielectric film serving as an interlayer insulating film formed by a damascene method in a semiconductor device, having OH groups generated by etching damages or ashing damages, a damage recovering system and a storage medium.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

In a semiconductor device manufacturing process, a dual damascene method is widely used to form a wiring groove or a contact hole (see, e.g., Patent Document 1).

Meanwhile, as semiconductor devices are miniaturized, a parasitic capacitance of an interlayer insulating film has become an important factor to improve wiring performance. The interlayer insulating film employs a low dielectric constant film (low-k film) made of a low-k material. Further, the low-k film is generally made of a material having end groups of alkyl groups such as methyl groups.

However, in the aforementioned conventional damascene process, the low-k film is damaged during an etching process or a resist film removing process (ashing process). This damage increases the dielectric constant of the low-k film, and decreases effects obtained by using the low-k film as the interlayer insulating film.

As a technique for recovering such damage, Patent Document 2 discloses a method for performing a silylation process after etching or removal of the resist film. The silylation process is performed to reform a damaged surface portion having end groups of OH groups by using a silylation agent such that the OH end groups can be replaced by alkyl groups such as methyl groups.

In order to apply the damage recovery process to a mass production system, it is required to check whether the apparatus is normal or not by inspecting processing conditions in a chamber set-up of the silylation processing apparatus or a daily check. Currently, in order to inspect the processing conditions, etching and ashing processes are performed on a wafer having a low-k film and a silylation process is performed thereon to prepare a sample. Then, a dilute hydrofluoric acid treatment is performed on the sample, wherein CDs or film thicknesses t are measured before and after the dilute hydrofluoric acid treatment to obtain ΔCD or Δt, thereby inspecting the processing conditions.

However, when the processing conditions are inspected by the above-described technique, the sample needs to be prepared by performing etching and ashing before the silylation process. Therefore, the sample preparation time is required and, also, the processing conditions related only to the silylation processing apparatus cannot be inspected. In other words, even if ΔCD or Δt is abnormal, it is not possible to determine whether the problem is related to the silylation process or to etching/ashing process.

Further, even if silylation conditions such as a gas concentration vary, ΔCD or Δt obtained after the dilute hydrofluoric acid treatment is hardly changed. Furthermore, even if the same ΔCD or Δt is obtained after the dilute hydrofluoric acid treatment on different samples, these samples often reveal different electrical characteristics. Namely, the processing conditions of the silylation process can not verified reliably.

[Patent Document 1] Japanese Patent Laid-open Publication No. 2002-083869

[Patent Document 2] Japanese Patent Laid-open Publication No. 2006-049798

SUMMARY

OF THE INVENTION

In view of the above, the present invention provides a processing condition inspection method and a processing condition optimization method of a damage recovery process, capable of inspecting processing conditions only by a damage recovery process and precisely detecting abnormality of the processing conditions, and a processing condition optimization method.

Further, the present invention provides a damage recovering system capable of executing the above methods and a storage medium storing a program for implementing the above methods.

In accordance with a first aspect of the present invention, there is provided a processing condition inspection method of a damage recovery process for reforming a film having OH groups generated by damages from a predetermined process by using a processing gas, comprising: preparing a substrate having an OH group containing resin film; measuring an initial film thickness of the OH group containing resin film; performing a damage recovery process on the substrate after measuring the initial film thickness; measuring a film thickness of the OH group containing resin film after the damage recovery process; calculating a film thickness difference of the OH group containing resin film before and after the damage recovery process; and determining whether processing conditions of the damage recovery process are appropriate or inappropriate based on the film thickness difference.

In accordance with a second aspect of the present invention, there is provided a processing condition optimization method of a damage recovery process for reforming a film having OH groups generated by damages from a predetermined process by using a processing gas, comprising: preparing a substrate having an OH group containing resin film; measuring an initial film thickness of the OH group containing resin film; performing a damage recovery process on the substrate after measuring the initial film thickness; measuring a film thickness of the OH group containing resin film after the damage recovery process; calculating a film thickness difference of the OH group containing resin film before and after the damage recovery process; and adjusting processing conditions such that the film thickness difference of the OH group containing resin film before and after the damage recovery process has a value corresponding to optimal processing conditions based on previously obtained data for a relationship between the processing conditions and the film thickness difference.

In the first and second aspects, the film having the OH groups generated by the damages may be a low-k interlayer insulating film. Further, the OH group containing resin film may be an OH group containing photoresist film. In this case, preferably, the OH group containing photoresist film is a KrF resist film. Further, the film thickness of the OH group containing resin film after the damage recovery process may be larger than the initial film thickness due to reaction of the processing gas. Further, the damage recovery process may be performed by a silylation process using a silylation agent as a processing gas. Further, the predetermined process causing the damages may be etching and/or ashing.

In the second aspect, when the damage recovery process is performed by a silylation process using a silylation agent as a processing gas, preferably, the silylation process is performed at a temperature of 120 to 350° C. Further, preferably, the silylation process is performed at a processing gas pressure of 1 to 50 Torr (133 to 6666 Pa).

In accordance with a third aspect of the present invention, there is provided a damage recovering system comprising: a damage recovering apparatus for reforming a film having OH groups generated by damages from a predetermined process by using a processing gas; a film thickness measurement device for measuring a film thickness of a predetermined film; and a control unit for controlling operations of the system, the operations including loading a substrate having an OH group containing resin film into the film thickness measurement device, measuring an initial film thickness of the OH group containing resin film, performing a damage recovery process on the substrate in the damage recovering apparatus after measuring the initial film thickness, measuring a film thickness of the OH group containing resin film in the film thickness measurement device after the damage recovery process, calculating a film thickness difference of the OH group containing resin film before and after the damage recovery process, and determining whether processing conditions of the damage recovery process are appropriate or inappropriate based on the film thickness difference.

In accordance with a fourth aspect of the present invention, there is provided a damage recovering system comprising: a damage recovering apparatus for reforming a film having OH groups generated by damages from a predetermined process by using a processing gas; a film thickness measurement device for measuring a film thickness of a predetermined film; and a control unit for controlling operations of the system, the operations including loading a substrate having an OH group containing resin film into the film thickness measurement device, measuring an initial film thickness of the OH group containing resin film, performing a damage recovery process on the substrate in the damage recovering apparatus after measuring the initial film thickness, measuring a film thickness of the OH group containing resin film in the film thickness measurement device after the damage recovery process, calculating a film thickness difference of the OH group containing resin film before and after the damage recovery process, and adjusting processing conditions such that the film thickness difference of the OH group containing resin film before and after the damage recovery process has a value corresponding to optimal processing conditions based on previously obtained data for a relationship between the processing conditions and the film thickness difference.

In accordance with a fifth aspect of the present invention, there is provided a computer-readable storage medium storing a program for controlling a damage recovering system including a damage recovering apparatus for reforming a film having OH groups generated by damages from a predetermined process by using a processing gas and a film thickness measurement device for measuring a film thickness of a predetermined film, wherein the program, when executed, controls the damage recovering system to perform a processing condition inspection method of a damage recovery process, the method including: preparing a substrate having an OH group containing resin film; measuring an initial film thickness of the OH group containing resin film; performing a damage recovery process on the substrate after measuring the initial film thickness; measuring a film thickness of the OH group containing resin film after the damage recovery process; calculating a film thickness difference of the OH group containing resin film before and after the damage recovery process; and determining whether processing conditions of the damage recovery process are appropriate or inappropriate based on the film thickness difference.

In accordance with a sixth aspect of the present invention, there is provided a computer-readable storage medium storing a program for controlling a damage recovering system including a damage recovering apparatus for reforming a film having OH groups generated by damages from a predetermined process by using a processing gas and a film thickness measurement device for measuring a film thickness of a predetermined film, wherein the program, when executed, controls the damage recovering system to perform a processing condition inspection method of a damage recovery process, the method including: preparing a substrate having an OH group containing resin film; measuring an initial film thickness of the OH group containing resin film; performing a damage recovery process on the substrate after measuring the initial film thickness; measuring a film thickness of the OH group containing resin film after the damage recovery process; calculating a film thickness difference of the OH group containing resin film before and after the damage recovery process; and adjusting processing conditions such that the film thickness difference of the OH group containing resin film before and after the damage recovery process has a value corresponding to optimal processing conditions based on previously obtained data for a relationship between the processing conditions and the film thickness difference. The present inventors carried out repeated examination based on the fact that the damages inflicted on the low-k film by etching or ashing cause generation of OH groups, and a damage recovery process, for example, a silylation process, is performed to reform a portion having the OH groups. As a result, they have found that the processing conditions can be inspected simply and precisely by performing the damage recovery process on a substrate having an OH group containing resin film and calculating a film thickness difference of the OH group containing resin film before and after the damage recovery process before a damage recovery process is performed on an actual substrate.

Namely, since the damage recovery process is performed on the substrate having the OH group containing resin film, a damage causing process such as etching, ashing and the like is not required before the damage recovery process. Accordingly, the sample preparation process becomes simple and, also, the processing conditions can be inspected only by the damage recovery process. Moreover, the film thickness of the OH group containing resin film changes with high sensitivity in response to a change in the processing conditions. Therefore, the processing conditions can be inspected simply and precisely.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The above and other objects and features of the present invention will become apparent from the following description of embodiments, given in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 is a block diagram showing a silylation processing system capable of performing a method of the present invention;

FIG. 2 describes a schematic cross sectional view of a silylation processing apparatus of the silylation processing system of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 provides a flow chart showing a processing condition inspection method of the silylation processing apparatus using the silylation processing system of FIG. 1;

FIG. 4 illustrates results of measuring a film thickness increase amount (film thickness difference) when a silylation process is performed on a wafer having a G-line resist film and a KrF resist film as a photoresist film containing OH groups;

FIG. 5 offers results of measuring a film thickness increase amount (film thickness difference) when a silylation process is performed on a wafer having a KrF resist film as a photoresist film containing OH groups while varying concentration of a silylation agent;

FIG. 6 presents a relationship between concentration (dilution ratio) of TMSDMA which is indicated in a horizontal axis and a film thickness increase amount (film thickness difference) Δt of a KrF resist film and a capacitance recovery amount of a low-k film which are indicated in vertical axes;

FIGS. 7A to 7D show a relationship between silylation processing time and Δt, a relationship between a pressure in a chamber and Δt, a relationship between concentration of a silylation agent (TMSDMA) and Δt, and a relationship between a temperature and Δt, respectively;

FIGS. 8A and 8B depict a relationship between a pressure in a chamber and Δt of a KrF resist film and a relationship between processing time and a TMSDMA partial pressure at each pressure level in a chamber, respectively;

FIG. 9 illustrates a temperature increase curve of a wafer at each pressure level in a chamber; and

FIG. 10 is a top view showing a schematic configuration of a substrate processing system which includes a silylation processing system for realizing the present invention and can perform etching, ashing and silylation successively.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

OF THE EMBODIMENT

The embodiments of the present invention will be described with reference to the accompanying drawings which form a part hereof.

FIG. 1 is a block diagram showing a silylation processing system capable of performing a method of the present invention.

A silylation processing system 100 performs a silylation process as a damage recovery process on a low-k film formed as an interlayer insulating layer on a semiconductor wafer W serving as a substrate to be processed. Further, the silylation processing system 100 includes a silylation processing apparatus 1 for performing a silylation process, a film thickness measurement device 2 for measuring a thickness of a photoresist film formed on a test wafer used to inspect processing conditions of the present embodiment, a loader 3 for mounting thereon a carrier accommodating therein a plurality of wafers W, a transfer device 4 for transferring the wafer W, and a control unit 5 for controlling each of the above components.

The control unit 5 has a controller 6 having a micro processer (computer) which is connected to and controls each of the silylation processing apparatus 1, the film thickness measurement device 2, the loader 3 and the transfer device 4. The controller 6 is connected to a user interface 7 including a keyboard for inputting commands, a display for displaying an operational status of the silylation processing system 100 and the like such that an operator can manage the silylation processing system 100.

The controller 6 is also connected to a storage unit 8 which stores control programs for controlling the respective components of the silylation processing system 100, or programs (i.e., recipes) for performing predetermined processes in the silylation processing system 100. The recipes are stored in a storage medium of the storage unit 8. The storage medium may be a fixed storage medium such as a hard disk, or a portable storage medium such as a CD-ROM, a DVD and a flash memory. Further, the recipes can be transmitted from another device via, e.g., a dedicated line. If necessary, a certain recipe may be retrieved from the storage unit 92 in accordance with the commands inputted through the user interface 91 and executed in the controller 6 such that a desired process is performed under control of the controller 6.

The silylation processing apparatus 1 serving as the damage recovering apparatus may have a configuration shown in a schematic cross sectional view of FIG. 2. The silylation processing apparatus 1 has a chamber 21 accommodating therein the wafer W, and a wafer mounting table 22 is installed at a lower portion of the chamber 21. A heater 23 is buried in the wafer mounting table 22, so that the wafer W mounted on the wafer mounting table 22 can be heated to a desired temperature. The wafer mounting table 22 is provided with wafer lifting pins 24 which can be protruded from or retracted into the wafer mounting table 22. The wafer lifting pins 24 can place the wafer W at a predetermined position above and separated from the wafer mounting table 22, when the wafer W is transferred to and from the wafer mounting table 22.

The chamber 21 is provided with an inner vessel 25 which defines a narrow processing space S for accommodating the wafer W. A silylation agent (silylation gas) is supplied into this processing space S. The inner vessel 25 has a gas inlet path 26 formed at its center and extending in a vertical direction.

An upper portion of the gas inlet 26 is connected to a gas supply line 27. The gas supply line 27 is connected to a line 29 extending from a silylation agent supply source 28 for supplying a silylation agent such as TMSDMA (N-Trimethylsilyldimethylamine), DMSDMA (Dimethylsilyldimethylamine), TMDS (1,1,3,3-Tetramethyldisilazane), TMSPyrole (1-Trimethylsilylpyrole), BSTFA (N,O-Bis(trimethylsilyl)trifluoroacetamide) and BDMADMS (Bis(dimethylamino)dimethylsilane), and a line 31 extending from a carrier gas supply source 30 for supplying a carrier gas such as Ar or N2 gas. The line 29 is provided with a vaporizer 32 for vaporizing the silylation agent, a mass flow controller 33 and an opening/closing valve 34 disposed thereon in this order from the silylation agent supply source 28.

The line 31 is provided with a mass flow controller 35 and an opening/closing valve 36 disposed thereon in this order from the carrier gas supply source 30. The silylation agent vaporized by the vaporizer 32 is carried by the carrier gas and is supplied through the gas supply line 27 and the gas inlet path 26 into the processing space S defined by the inner vessel 25. When the process is performed, the wafer W is heated by the heater 23 to a predetermined temperature. In this case, the wafer temperature can be controlled, for example, in a range from a room temperature to 300° C.

An air inlet line 37 is installed to extend from the atmosphere outside the chamber 21 to the inner vessel 25 inside the chamber 21. The air inlet line 37 is provided with a valve 38. As the valve 38 is opened, air is introduced into the processing space S defined by the inner vessel 25 inside the chamber 21. Accordingly, moisture supplied with the air facilitates a silylation reaction.

A gate valve G is provided at a sidewall of the chamber 21. While the gate valve G is opened, the wafer W is loaded into or unloaded from the chamber 1. A load-lock chamber (not shown) communicates with the chamber 21 via the gate valve G. The wafer is transferred to the load-lock chamber maintained at an atmospheric pressure by the transfer device 4 in the atmosphere. Then, the load-lock chamber is evacuated to vacuum, and the wafer W is loaded into the chamber 21 by a transfer unit (not shown) provided in the load-lock chamber. When the wafer W is unloaded, a reverse operation is performed.



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stats Patent Info
Application #
US 20130025537 A1
Publish Date
01/31/2013
Document #
13632770
File Date
10/01/2012
USPTO Class
118697
Other USPTO Classes
International Class
23C16/52
Drawings
12


Resin
Inspect


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