Environmentally friendly cleaning technologies in microchip production
Many individual process steps are necessary before a chip is produced in microelectronics. It is often necessary to clean wafers or to remove existing layers completely or partially. Usually, this is done using aggressive chemical cleaning processes. Together with partners, Fraunhofer IPMS is developing an alternative technology that is more efficient, more cost-effective and, above all, more environmentally friendly.
The phase fluid-based technology sets new standards in terms of environmental friendliness, occupational safety and equipment compatibility and represents a major step towards green fab in semiconductor production. In addition, process flows can be simplified, resulting in savings in production time and consumables, and enabling new application scenarios in process integration. In contrast to conventional processes, in which photoresists, for example, are dissolved using aggressive solvents and sometimes toxic chemicals and then disposed of at great expense, phase fluids infiltrate the corresponding layers, fragment them and "lift" them off the wafer surface without defects. The phase fluid and the dissolved photoresist are then rinsed with DI water and removed without leaving any residue.