Through inline processing of a prospective Spin on Hardmask (SOH) material, bubble defects were observed randomly across a wafer. Several complementary FA techniques were utilized to characterize the bubble defects including SEM, TEM, and chemical analysis techniques. The root cause of defect formation was identified as a raw material imperfection in SOH, which led to excessive outgassing. Imperfections within the substrate formed nucleation sites for outgassing of SOH material forming bubbles, which allowed voids to propagate. These findings led to implementation of greater quality control methods by the raw material manufacturer.

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