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AFM analysis of HF Vapor Cleaned SiO2 Surfaces

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  10 February 2011

R. J. Carter
Affiliation:
Department of Materials Science and Engineering and Raleigh, NC 27695–8202;
E. J. Bergman
Affiliation:
Department of Physics, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27695–8202;
D. R. Lee
Affiliation:
Semitool, 655 West Reserve Dr., Kalispell, MT 59901;
J. Owyang
Affiliation:
Semitool, 655 West Reserve Dr., Kalispell, MT 59901;
R. J. Nemanich
Affiliation:
Department of Materials Science and Engineering and Raleigh, NC 27695–8202; LSI Logic, 3115 Alfred St., MS J-202, Santa Clara, CA 95054;
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Abstract

Si(100) surfaces were cleaned using HF/IPA vapor chemistries at ambient pressure and temperature with nitrogen as the carrier gas. Three distinct cases for oxide removal were studied: vapor etching of native oxides, RCA chemical oxides, and thermal oxides. Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) was used to characterize the surface morphology after the HF vapor etching process. The AFM indicated exaggerated peaks in random places on the surface, These peaks were identified as residue remaining after the vapor etching process. The average lateral width of the peaks were ∼ 50 nm. The average height of the peaks for native and chemical oxide etched surfaces was relatively the same, approximately 8 nm. The average height of the peaks after thermal oxide removal was significantly smaller, approximately 1–2 nm. Peak density for native oxide etched surfaces was significantly greater than chemical or thermal oxide etched surfaces. We suggest that impurities in the oxide contribute to residue formation on the surface.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © Materials Research Society 1997

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