We have already proposed chemical vapor free and room temperature wet cleaning (UCT cleaning) for Si substrate surface, instead of conventional RCA cleaning, which consumes very little amount of chemicals and ultrapure water compared to that of RCA cleaning. This new wet cleaning has been developed by scientifically understanding contaminants removal mechanism as follows;
(1) Particles can be removed by simultaneously satisfying following two conditions,
(a) particles and substructure surface must have same polarity of zeta potential in the cleaning solution to exhibit repulsive electric coulomb force with each other.
(b) adhered particles must be lifted off from substrate surface by slight etching to make electric repulsive force greater than van der Waals force,
(2) Redox potential of the cleaning solution must be larger than a critical value to enable removal of electrons from adhered metals in order to dissolve them into the cleaning solution as positive ions and to decompose adhered organic molecules to CO2, H2O etc.
Megasonic irradiation is very essential in UCT cleaning, particularly to remove particles by lifting them off from substrate surface. In this study, chemical reaction in the cleaning solution induced by megasonic irradiation is mainly discussed. Irradiation of ultrasonic having frequencies higher than a few hundred KHz (Megasonic) to ultrapure water has been confirmed to be able to decompose H2O molecules to H radicals and OH radicals. Decomposition efficiency of H20 molecules is strongly dependent on remaining gas components and their volume in the ultrapure water. When the remaining gas volume is decreased to less than 0.2 ∼0.3ppm, H2O molecules decomposition to H radicals and OH radicals has not been observed. Generated OH radicals have been confirmed to produce H2O2, and NH4+, NO2−, NO3− ions by reacting. with remaining N2 gas. Thus the cleaning capability of the cleaning solutions can be controlled by irradiating megasonic.