As soon as wafers are introduced to a cleanroom, or after they have completed a process step, these wafers undergo a cleaning procedure to remove particles and contamination. Surface preparation systems use one of several methods to eliminate particles, such as brushes or sprays, depending on the type of cleaning required.
As the IC industry moves towards 300mm manufacturing, single-wafer processing for surface preparation steps shows benefits over the traditional wet bench processes. Amongst these benefits, better within-wafer uniformity, better wafer-to-wafer repeatability, tighter process control or shorter process times were already demonstrated.
In order to compete with Batch-Processing however, ultimate low particle generation and continuous flow requirements are required and define process yields. Also component footprint-/ and lifetime are crucial cost drivers for the complex designed tools.