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Volume 15, No. 5, October 2015, Pages 2175-2183 PDF(774 KB)  
doi: 10.4209/aaqr.2014.10.0238   

Evaluation of Hindrance to the Growth of SiN Passivation Layer by Contamination of Fluoride Ions in Front Opening Unified Pod (FOUP)

Gil Joo Song1, Sung Min Hwang1, Soo Jong Koo1, Hyoung Ryeun Kim1, Hee Chang Jang1, Jeong Hoon Hong1, Hyun Yul Park1, Euiji Choi2,3, Jin Young Kim2, Tae Yong Noh4, Eungsun Lee4, Seoung-Kyo Yoo4

1 Contamination Quality Engineering, Manufacturing and Technology Division, SK Hynix Semiconductor Inc., 2091 Gyeongchung-daero Bubal-eub, Icheon-si, Gyeonggi-do, Korea
2 Fuel Cell Research Center, Korea Institute of Science and Technology, Hwarangno 14-gil 5, Seongbuk -gu, Seoul 136-791, Korea
3 Applied Chemistry, Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Kyushu University, 744 Motooka, Nishi-ku, Fukuoka, 819-0395, Japan
4 WITHTECH INC. CO., LTD., 300 Techno 2Rd, Yuseong-gu, Daejeon 305-510, Korea


  • The inside of FOUP can be contaminated by airborne molecules in cleanrooms.
  • Thickness of SiN layer on a wafer was decreased by contaminated FOUP.
  • Maximum of 12% of the SiN layer was eroded by exposure to residual fluoride ions.
  • There was no thickness degradation of deposited SiN layer by pre-cleaned FOUP.
  • Cleaning and monitoring the inside of FOUPs are necessary after an etching process.



We have investigated the hindrance to the deposition growth of silicon nitride (SiN) passivation layer from the contamination by airborne molecules in the front opening unified pod (FOUP). In particular, an artificial contamination of FOUP by fluoride ions as the source of the contaminants is utilized to elucidate the influence of contamination on the wafer surface. When the bare wafer surface is exposed to fluoride ions in the contaminated FOUP, the deposited thickness of the SiN layer is observed to decrease to a maximum of 11 Å from our experimental condition. On the other hand, there is no appreciable variation in the thickness of deposited SiN layer stored in the pre-cleaned FOUP. Based on the analytical results of wafer surfaces and FOUPs, we believe that the contamination of fluoride ions on wafer surfaces is originated from the contaminated surface of FOUP. Therefore, we conclude that it is necessary to clean and monitor the inside of FOUP on a regular basis, especially after wet or dry etching processes, which generates gaseous impurities.



Keywords: Airborne molecular contaminants (AMC); Cleanroom contamination; Front opening unified pod (FOUP); Fluoride ion; SiN layer.



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