Role of carbon dioxide in gas expanded liquids for removal of photoresist and etch residue
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Progress in the microelectronics industry is driven by smaller and faster transistors. As feature sizes in integrated circuits become smaller and liquid chemical waste becomes an even greater environmental concern, gas expanded liquids (GXLs) may provide a possible solution to future device fabrication limitations relative to the use of liquids. The properties of GXLs such as surface tension can be tuned by the inclusion of high pressure gases; thereby, the reduced surface tension will allow penetration of cleaning solutions into small features on the nanometer scale. In addition, the inclusion of the gas decreases the amount of liquid necessary for the photoresist and etch residue removal processes. This thesis explores the role of CO2-based GXLs for photoresist and etch residue removal. The gas used for expansion is CO2 while the liquid used is methanol. The cosolvent serving as the removal agent is tetramethyl ammonium hydroxide (TMAH) which upon reacting with CO2 becomes predominantly tetramethyl ammonium bicarbonate (TMAB).