The paper assesses progress of gas-phase silicon cleaning methods over the last 25 years. Early predictions regarding ability to clean silicon surface in gaseous ambient are confronted with the reality of today's advanced semiconductor technology where choices between liquid- and gas-phase cleans are based on the nature of species to be removed from the surface and composition and geometrical configuration of semiconductor material systems to be processed. Focusing on the former, extent to which control of particles, metallic and organic contaminants, as well native/chemical oxides and moisture on silicon surface can be accomplished using gas-phase processes is considered. It is concluded that gas-phase methods are effective in native/chemical oxide, organics and moisture control all of which fall into the broadly defined category of surface conditioning operations. In contrast, usefulness of gas-phase methods in particle and metallic contamination control, which fall into the category of surface cleaning steps, is limited. A conclusion from this elaboration is that, as practice shows, hybrid cleans appropriately combining, liquid- and gas-phase surface processing steps are a viable solution to the challenges of silicon surface processing.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials