The introduction of rapid thermal processing for silicide formation has triggered a lot of research to temperature uniformity and reproducibility in RTP systems. In addition to the temperature, the ambient control is to be taken into account. Although gasses are specified to a low level of contaminants, the RTP step needs to be optimised for optimal contaminant reduction. Besides, the process wafer itself is a source of contamination.
In this paper an overview will be given of the role of RTP ambient on the silicidation processes. The effect of the wafer on ambient purity will be highlighted. It will be shown that the use of a reactive capping layer during silicidation represents an adequate solution for both sources of contamination.