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Metal Corrosion of Al-Si-Cu Pattern Wafer Due to Chloride Ion Contaminants

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Volume: 12 | Issue: 1 | Pages: 104-112
DOI: 10.4209/aaqr.2011.07.0107
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Bi-Jun Wu, Hsunling Bai , I-Kai Lin, Hsiang-Hsing Liu

  • Institute of Environmental Engineering, National Chiao Tung University, 1001 University Rd., Hsinchu 300, Taiwan


Chloride ions (Cl) induce metal corrosion of integrated circuits and cause wafer scrap events in the clean room environment. In this study, Al-Si-Cu pattern wafers were designed to monitor critical Cl concentration which leads to metal corrosion effects in a simulated airborne molecular contamination (AMC) mini-environment. The simulated Cl contamination was generated by HCl permeation tube in a mini-environment; meanwhile, the HCl concentrations in the mini-environment and the real fab were monitored by a real-time Ion Mobility Spectrometry (IMS) instrument. The exposed Al-1%Si-0.5%Cu pattern wafers were analyzed by the surface scanner, the optical microscope (OM), scanning electron microscope (SEM) and energy dispersive spectrometer (EDS) analyzer. The critical HCl concentration where metal corrosion defects could be occurred and found on the wafer surface was around 2.9–4.7 ppbv for simulated mini-environment exposure within 1 hour, and 2.9–4.2 ppbv for real fab ambient air exposure within only 10 minutes. The results indicated that the Al-Si-Cu pattern wafer with TiW barrier layer is more sensitive than the Al-Cu pattern wafer with TiN barrier layer. It also proved that the permeation tube method can be served as a stable Cl simulated source, which can control the simulated mini-environment to be within ~4% error in ppbv levels.


Airborne molecular contaminants (AMCs) Chloride contamination Cleanroom micro-contamination HCl Pattern wafer Semiconductor device

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