PatentDe  


Dokumentenidentifikation EP0594676 09.07.1998
EP-Veröffentlichungsnummer 0594676
Titel Verfahren zur Herstellung von DIAMANTMEMBRANEN FÜR RÖNTGENLITHOGRAPHIE
Anmelder Monsanto Co., St. Louis, Mo., US
Erfinder GARG, Diwakar, Macungie, PA 18062, US;
MONK, Vyril A., Macungie, PA 18062, US;
MUELLER, Carl, F. +di, /, DE
Vertreter derzeit kein Vertreter bestellt
DE-Aktenzeichen 69225800
Vertragsstaaten AT, BE, CH, DE, DK, ES, FR, GB, GR, IT, LI, LU, NL, SE
Sprache des Dokument En
EP-Anmeldetag 25.06.1992
EP-Aktenzeichen 929145142
WO-Anmeldetag 25.06.1992
PCT-Aktenzeichen US9205355
WO-Veröffentlichungsnummer 9300685
WO-Veröffentlichungsdatum 07.01.1993
EP-Offenlegungsdatum 04.05.1994
EP date of grant 03.06.1998
Veröffentlichungstag im Patentblatt 09.07.1998
IPC-Hauptklasse G21K 5/00
IPC-Nebenklasse B05D 3/06   G21K 1/10   G03F 1/14   

Beschreibung[en]
FIELD OF THE INVENTION

This invention relates to X-ray lithography. More particularly, the invention relates to a method for producing a substantially compressive stress free, pin-holes and defects free, continuous polycrystalline diamond membrane for X-ray lithography application.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

X-ray lithography, because of its high resolution and excellent process latitude, offers considerable benefits over other lithography methods for producing devices with lateral dimensions in the vicinity of 0.5 micron and below. The membranes that are used in X-ray lithography typically comprise a thin foil substrate supporting an X-ray absorbing pattern. Since the thin foil substrate is usually only a few micrometers thick, it usually requires an additional peripheral supporting structure.

Selection of a suitable material for the X-ray lithography membrane is not a simple process for many reasons. For example, an X-ray lithography membrane should have a usable area as large a possible (ideally as large as a silicon wafer), a thickness in the micron (µm) range, to minimize absorption of X-rays and subsequent rise in membrane temperature, virtually absolute flatness, high strength, dimensional and mechanical stability against radiation, humidity, and heat, and compatibility with X-ray absorber materials such as gold, tantalum and tungsten. The membrane must also have sufficient transparency to X-rays so that adequate contrast can be achieved, and transparency to visible light for alignment purposes.

To meet these requirements, materials such as silicon, boron doped silicon, boron nitride, silicon nitride (Si3N4 and SiNx), silicon oxide (SiO2 and SiOx), beryllium, silicon carbide (SiC and SiCx), tungsten carbide, silicon oxynitride, alumina, Mylar, and Kapton have been employed as X-ray lithography membranes. Illustrative are the following references: U.S. Patent Nos. 3,742,230; 3,925,677; 4,037,111; 4,198,263; 4,260,670; Yamada, et al., Microelectronic Eng'r 9, 135-138 (1989); Mackens, et al., Ion-Beam Technology, Submicrometer Lithographics VII, 9-15 (1988); Suzuki, Electron Beam, X-ray and Ion Beam Lithographics VI, 23-29 (1987); Ku, et al., J. Vac. Sci. Technol. B. 6, No. 6, 2174-2177 (1988); Uzoh, et al., J. Vac. Sci. Technol. 6, No.6, 2178-2183 (1988); Aiyer, et al., Thin Solid Films 163, 229-232 (1988.).

These disclosed materials meet some of the above mentioned requirements well but only marginally satisfy one or more of the other requirements. For example, membranes made of boron nitride have been noted to lose optical transparency when exposed to X-rays from a synchrotron radiation source. The optical and X-ray transparencies of many of the above described materials have also been noted to decrease with increasing thickness (generally above 1µm). Further, because of the low thermal conductivity of the current X-ray membrane materials, the temperature of these membranes has been noted to rise with the absorption of X-rays by the absorber material. This rise in temperature coupled with the high coefficient of thermal expansion of these materials results in significant distortion of the pattern and damage to the membrane.

X-ray lithography membranes made out of thin diamond film (a pure crystalline carbon structure) offer a viable solution to many of the problems experienced by the current X-ray lithography membrane materials. Diamond has a high thermal conductivity (∼2000 W-1 m-1 K-1) which facilitates the rapid dissipation of heat generated by the absorption of X-rays. It also minimizes the pattern distortion due to its low coefficient of thermal expansion (∼1.1 x 10-6/°C) and high Young's modulus. Additionally, diamond is extremely hard, X-ray and optically transparent, and extremely durable and resistant to chemical attack. Several prior art techniques have been disclosed for producing diamond (or amorphous carbon) membranes. Illustrative are the following references: U.S. Patent No. 4,436,797; and Japanese Patent Application Nos. 88000979, 87017152, and 87089586.

U.S. Patent 4,436,797 describes a process for fabricating a X-ray membrane from amorphous carbon deposited on silicon wafer by plasma assisted CVD using a mixture of hydrogen and hydrocarbon.

Japanese Patent Application No. 88000979 filed on 5 January 1988 (JP-A-1.179.319) discloses a X-ray lithography membrane made of diamond film. The thickness of diamond film is claimed to be ∼1µm, and is deposited on silicon wafer by hot filament, high-frequency plasma, or microwave plasma CVD method with CH4/H2 mixture at 800 to 1000°C and pressure of several torr. This patent application fails to provide details of essential processing parameters, such as compos.ition and flow rate of feed gas and operating pressure, required to deposit thin diamond film either in tension or free of compressive stresses.

Japanese Patent Application No. 87017152 filed on 29 January 1987 (JP-A-63.254.727) describes the use of diamond thin film as a X-ray lithography membrane. It claims that the use of CVD diamond film as a X-ray membrane has been difficult because of rough surface finish. The surface roughness of CVD diamond has been reduced by polishing, thereby enabling one to use it as X-ray membrane. The diamond film is deposited on silicon by using either microwave plasma CVD or hot-filament CVD. A gaseous feed mixture containing 1% CH4 in H2 was used at 900°C substrate and 2000°C filament temperatures to deposit diamond by HFCVD. This patent application fails to provide details of processing parameters required to deposit diamond film either in tension or free of compressive stresses.

Japanese Patent Application No. 87089586 filed on 10 April 1987 (JP-A-63.186.427) discloses a X-ray membrane made of carbon-based film containing diamond crystals. The carbon-based membrane is produced by ionizing a mixture of hydrogen, hydrocarbon, organic compound and inert gas by an ion beam in a vacuum chamber.

A drawback of these prior art techniques is that since the coefficient of thermal expansion of diamond (∼1.1 x 10-6°C-1) is considerably lower than that of the base silicon material (∼4.2 x 10-6°C-1), the diamond film is generally deposited with residual compressive stresses. These compressive stresses produce wrinkles in the film when the base material is removed by chemical etching, thereby producing poor quality X-ray membrane.

It is an object of this invention to provide a low cost and efficient process for producing a substantially compressive stress free, pin-holes and defects free, and substantially optically and X-ray transparent continuous polycrystalline diamond membrane for X-ray lithography.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

According to the invention there is provided a method for producing a substantially compressive stress free, pin-holes and defects free, continuous polycrystalline diamond X-ray membrane characterized by preparing the surface of a supporting substrate comprising a material selected from the group consisting of silicon, polysilicon, silicon carbide, silicon nitride, silicon oxynitride, boron carbide, boron nitride, alumina, titanium carbide, titanium nitride, tungsten, molybdenum, tantalum and mixtures thereof by treating said substrate surface with a slurry of diamond particles and a volatile solvent placed in an ultrasonic bath for a predetermined period of time, placing said substrate into a hot filament chemical vapor deposition reactor chamber; pre-heating said substrate by electrically charging the pre-carburized filament network of said reactor to a temperature in the range of about 400°C to 650°C in the presence of an inert gas at a substrate to filament network distance of 11 mm to 20 mm; maintaining said pre-heating temperature for a predetermined period of time; heating said substrate to a temperature in the range of 650°C to 700°C in the presence of a gaseous mixture of flowing hydrogen and carbon compounds at a rate of 0.16 to 10 ml/sec (10 sccm to 605 sccm); chemically vapor depositing a substantially optically and X-ray transparent, adherent and coherent polycrystalline diamond membrane having a substantially uniform thickness onto said substrate for a deposition time of 5 to 80 hours; cooling said substrate by extinguishing said deposition process and passing an inert gas over said substrate until the temperature of said substrate has reached substantially room temperature during said cool-down step; removing said substrate coated with a substantially compressive stress free polycrystalline diamond X-ray membrane from said reactor; applying an etch resistant mask to the back surface of the said substrate to define one or more openings; etching said back surface of said substrate by preferential chemical etchant; and recovering said compressive stress free, pin-holes and defects free, continuous polycrystalline diamond membrane supported by a substrate frame.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Further features and advantages of the method disclosed herein will become apparent from the following and more particular description of the preferred embodiment of the invention as illustrated in the accompanying drawings, in which:

  • FIGURES 1A, 1B and 1C are simplified views of a type of HFCVD reactor for use in carrying out the method of the present invention;
  • FIGURES 2-5 illustrate the step-by-step fabrication of a X-ray lithography mask using a substantially compressive stress free continuous polycrystalline diamond membrane in accordance with this invention.
  • FIGURE 6 is a graph illustrating the time-temperature sequence for pre-treatment of a new filament network used in the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

In accordance with the present invention, the disclosed method for producing a polycrystalline diamond membrane for X-ray lithography substantially reduces or eliminates the disadvantages and shortcomings associated with the prior art techniques. A highly important technical advantage of the invention is that the resulting diamond membrane is substantially compressive stress-free and thereby minimizes or eliminates pattern distortion generally observed during X-ray lithography.

The disclosed polycrystalline diamond membrane is also extremely hard, durable, resistant to chemical attack, substantially optically and X-ray transparent, exhibits a high thermal conductivity which facilitates the rapid dissipation of heat generated by X-ray absorption and exhibits a low coefficient of thermal expansion which minimizes pattern distortion. The diamond membrane may further exhibit an adherent, coherent, and continuous polycrystalline structure. By the term of "substantially optically transparent", it is intended to mean substantially transparent to light in the visible region of the electromagnetic spectrum, which is generally between approximately 350-750 nanometers wavelength. By the term "substantially X-ray transparent", it is intended to mean substantially transport to electromagnetic radiation with less than 300 nanometers wavelength.

Further disclosed is a X-ray lithography mask employing the substantially compressive stress free, pin-holes and defects free, continuous polycrystalline diamond thin membrane. The X-ray lithography mask further comprises a substantially X-ray absorbing pattern 4 supported by the polycrystalline diamond membrane 1 and a substrate supporting the membrane 7 (FIGURE 5). The substrate 7 on which the polycrystalline diamond membrane 1 is deposited may comprise silicon, polysilicon, alumina, titanium carbide, titanium nitrite, tungsten, silicon carbide, silicon oxynitride, boron carbide, silicon nitride, boron nitride, molybdenum, tantalum or mixtures thereof.

In the preferred embodiment of the invention, as illustrated in Figure 2, the polycrystalline diamond membrane 1 is chemically vapor deposited on a substrate 7 comprising silicon, glass, ceramic and/or mixtures thereof. As previously mentioned, the diamond membrane 1 is substantially compressive stress-free (i.e. no residual compressive stresses). Alternatively, the polycrystalline diamond membrane 1 may be deposited onto the substrate 7 under tensile stress. This may be achieved by using a specially designed HFCVD reactor and by carefully selecting the deposition parameters. The advantage of depositing the polycrystalline diamond membrane under tensile stress would be the membrane or the mask will have little or no distortion during use.

By the phrase "chemically vapor deposited," it is intended to mean the deposition of a layer of polycrystalline diamond resulting from the thermal decomposition of a mixture of hydrogen and carbon compounds, preferably hydrocarbons, into diamond generating carbon atoms preferentially from the gas phase activated in such a way as to avoid substantially the deposition of graphitic carbon. The specific types of carbon compounds useful in this method include C1 -C4 saturated hydrocarbons such as methane, ethane, propane and butane; C1 -C4 unsaturated hydrocarbons such as acetylene, ethylene, propylene and butylene; gases containing C and O such as carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide; aromatic compounds such as benzene, toluene, xylene, and the like; and organic compounds containing C, H, and at least one of oxygen and/or nitrogen such as methanol, ethanol, propanol, dimethyl ether, diethyl ether, methylamine, ethylamine, acetone, and similar materials (a detailed list of organic compounds that can be used to deposit a diamond layer is provided in U.S. Patent No. 4,816,282. The organic compound can be in admixture with water as described in Japanese Kokai Patent Publication No. Sho 64(1989)-24093, published 26 January 1989. The concentration of carbon compounds in the hydrogen gas can vary from about 0.2% to about 5.0% preferably from about 0.5% to 2.0%. The resulting diamond film in such a deposition method is in the form of adherent individual crystallites or a layer-like agglomerates of crystallites substantially free from intercrystalline adhesion binder.

The polycrystalline diamond membrane exhibits a substantially uniform thickness generally in the range of approximately 0.5 µm - 4.0 µm. Preferably, the thickness of the polycrystalline diamond membrane is about 0.75µm to 2.0µm. The polycrystalline diamond membrane also has a diameter/thickness aspect ratio substantially greater than 1,000.

The method of the present invention teaches those skilled in the art how to fabricate the substantially compressive stress free, pin-holes and defects free, continuous polycrystalline diamond membrane of this invention. According to the method, the first step involves preparing the surface of the substrate by ultrasonically bathing the substrate in a slurry of diamond particles and volatile solvent for a predetermined period of time, preferably approximately 0.5 hours to 6 hours. The size of diamond particles used during bathing may vary from 10µm to 100µm. Preferably, the size of diamond particles may be 20µm to 35µm. The substrate may then be cleaned with a volatile solvent and dried in the presence of an inert gas. The polycrystalline diamond membrane is then chemically vapor deposited onto the prepared substrate in a HFVCD reactor.

The polycrystalline diamond membrane of the present invention may be deposited in a preferred method by using an HFCVD reactor such as the reactor illustrated in FIGURE 1A. The HFCVD technique involves activating a feed gaseous mixture containing a mixture of hydrocarbon and hydrogen by a heated filament and flowing the activated gaseous mixture over a heated substrate to deposit a polycrystalline diamond membrane. The feed gas mixture, generally containing from 0.1% to about 5% hydrocarbon in hydrogen, is thermally activated under sub-atmosphere pressure ≤13.3 kPa (≤100 torr) to produce hydrocarbon radicals and atomic hydrogen by using a heated filament made of tungsten, molybdenum, tantalum, rhenium, platinum, rhodium, zirconium, palladium, hafnium or a mixture thereof.

The operating parameters that have been found to be critical for depositing substantially compressive stress free, pin-holes and defects free, continuous polycrystalline diamond membranes include the substrate temperature, filament to substrate distance, total flow rate of the feed gas mixture and deposition time. In the preferred embodiment form of the invention, the substrate is initially pre-heated to a temperature in the range of about 400°C to 650°C in the presence of an inert gas such as helium, argon, nitrogen, zenon or crypton. The substrate temperature is determined by placing a thermocouple behind it touching the surface as shown in Figure 1B. The substrate is generally maintained at this pre-heating temperature for approximately 10 minutes to 120 minutes, preferably to 60 minutes. The flow rate of the inert gas during the pre-heating step is generally in the range of approximately 0.83-8.3 ml/s (50 sccm to 500 sccm), and maintained at a predetermined flow rate for approximately 10 min. to 120 min.

The substrate is then heated to a temperature in the range of approximately 650°C to 700°C in the presence of the gaseous mixture of flowing hydrogen and carbon compounds. In the preferred embodiment of the invention, the concentration of carbon compounds in the hydrogen gas is in the range of approximately 0.2% to 5.0%, preferably approximately 0.5% to 2.0%. The control of substrate. or deposition temperature at or below 700°C is critical for depositing polycrystalline diamond membranes under substantially compressive stress-free or under tensile stress, which is exhibited by wrinkle free surface topography after etching substrate. The use of deposition temperatures above 700°C has been unexpectedly found to result in membranes under compression which is exhibited by the presence of wrinkles in the membrane upon etching.

In the preferred embodiment form of the invention, the substrate to filament network distance is generally in the range of approximately 11 mm to 20 mm. It has been found that a filament to substrate distance less than 11 mm will result in the deposition of nonuniform membranes under compression.

It has also been found that the use of high flow rate of feed gas is detrimental for producing membranes substantially free of compressive stresses. Thus, in the preferred embodiment form of the invention, the flow rate of the gaseous mixture containing 1% CH4 in H2 during the chemical vapor deposition step is generally in the range of approximately 0.16-10 ml/s (10 sccm to 605 sccm). The total flow rate may change with the concentration of CH4 in H2 and with the type of carbon compounds used during deposition.

The chemical vapor deposition rate for the polycrystalline diamond membrane is generally in the range of approximately 0.05 to 0.5 microns/hr. and maintained for approximately 5 hours to 80 hours, preferably less than 40 hours. It has been found that the use of deposition times greater than 40 hours will result in diamond membranes with slightly rough surface topography with reduced optical transparency.

Finally, during both the pre-heating and chemical vapor deposition steps of the preferred method, the substrate is rotated at approximately 1 to 10 revolutions per hour, preferably at 2 to 5 revolutions per hour.

After a suitable period of polycrystalline diamond deposition time, the flow of the reactive gaseous mixture is stopped and an inert gas, i.e. argon, helium and the like, is passed over the coated substrate while the filament remains electrically charged for a period of time to purge the activated gaseous mixture from the reactor and then the coated substrate is cooled by removing the charge from the filament while continuing to pass the inert gas over the substrate.

FIGURE 1A is a simplified sectional view of the HFCVD reactor that can be used to chemically vapor depositing a diamond membrane onto a substrate according to the present invention. The key elements of such an HFCVD reactor comprise the vertically positioned filament network 20, the vertically positioned, rotatable substrate support 21 are oriented within the reactor so that their surfaces are parallel to the axis of gas flow through the reaction zone 100. They are also oriented to be in the direction parallel to the gravitational forces. The substrate 22 to be coated is supported by support means 21 as shown in FIGURE 1B. The support means 21 comprises a disk shaped base plate 23 and a retainer ring 24 designed and configure to support a large, e.g. 102 mm (4 in.), diameter substrate 22. In a preferred embodiment, the base plate 23 and the retainer ring 24 are made of a molybdenum or tantalum metal to avoid the formation of graphic soot during the CVD process. A pyrolytic graphite plate 25 approximately 3.2 mm (1/8 inch)thick is also provided and placed behind the substrate 22 to evenly distribute heat over the entire surface of the substrate 22.

The base plate 23, pyrolytic graphite plate 25, retainer ring 24, and the substrate 22 positioned therein, are mounted on a stainless steel support rod and plate 26 by conventional set screws 27. The substrate support rod 26 is supported by and positioned in the reactor by a flange 28 operatively secured to reactor port 29. The support rod can be moved in and out of the reactor to provide desired gap between the substrate and the filament network. To facilitate rotation of the substrate 22 during the CVD process, the support rod 26 is provided with a conventional gear system 30 attached to the external end of the substrate support rod 26 to engage gear 31 of an external motor 32. The substrate is initiated at a speed varying between 1 revolution per hour to 10 rph, preferably between 2 to 3 rph. The substrate support means 21 is also provided with a thermocouple 33 to measure the substrate temperature and a connecting electrical lead 34 through which the thermocouple output may be transmitted to an external indicator or read-out 35. The thermocouple touches the back side of the substrate, thereby measuring the substrate temperature from the behind.

The filament network 20 illustrated in FIGURES 1A and 1C is designed and assembled in such a way that it provides a symmetrical and complete coverage to substrate surfaces of approximately 102 mm (4 inches) in diameter. It will be recognized by those skilled in the art that the filament network 20 may be designed and configured to accommodate various diameter substrates. In the preferred type of HFCVD reactor for the preparation of diamond membranes for X-ray lithography, the filament network 20 comprises two sets of filaments 36 and 37, one mounted on the left side and the other on the right side of the substrate 22, as shown in FIGURE 1C. These filament sets 36, 37 are made of two 1.0 mm diameter and 33cm. long tantalum wires 38, each pre-bent in a serpentine fashion. The wires 38 were mounted on two sets of parallel tantalum bars 39 and secured to four copper feed-through 40 by conventional metal screws 41. The copper feed-through 40 are securely mounted to a disk shaped reactor support flange 42 operatively secured to reactor port 43 opposite to the one used for supporting the substrate support means 21. The copper feed-through 40 are isolated from the support flange 42 by means of four ceramic spacers 44. The filament networks 36 and 37 are provided with electrical leads 45 and 46 to which an appropriate electrical heating current is conducted form two independent AC power supplies 47 and 48.

The reactor shown in FIGURE 1A is a six-way cross enclosed by a heat proof external wall 49 of quartz, stainless steel or other suitable material. The end ports 29, 43, 50, 51, 52 and 53 of the reactor are enclosed by removable port flanges 28, 42, 54, 55, 56 and 57 which isolate the reactor such that the interior can be evacuated without significant inward leakage from the surrounding ambient atmosphere. As previously discussed, reactor flanges 28 and 42 also support and position the substrate support means 21 and the filament copper feed-through 40, respectively. A four-way cross can alternatively be used as a heat proof external wall. Additionally, a heat proof chamber fitted with openings for gas inlet, outlet, filament network and substrate holder can also be used. The chamber can be cylindrical, rectangular, and spherical.

The top port 52 of the six way cross reactor is used to introduce the reactant gas into the reaction zone 100. One of the key elements of the reactor system consists of a gas dispersion device to provide substantially flat velocity profile in the reaction chamber. The introduction of feed gas in this way reduces or eliminates temperature gradient in the reactor and helps in improving life of the filament network. In the preferred embodiment, an approximately 154 mm (six inch) long column 60 packed with glass or ceramic beads 61 is placed at the entrance port 52 to feed the reactant gas into the reaction zone 100 with a substantially flat velocity profile.

In order to regulate the gas pressure within the reactor chamber and remove the reaction product gases, the bottom port 53 of the reactor is provided with an opening (not shown) therein which an exhaust port tube 62 (schematically illustrated in FIGURE 1C) is suitable connected to a vacuum pump 63. A vacuum gauge 64 is connected in the line thereto for indicating the pressure within the reactor chamber. By properly operating vacuum pump 63, the gas pressure within the reactor chamber may be regulated as desired.

The two side ports 50 and 51 of the reactor may also be used to mount sight glass(es) and/or a mass spectrometer probe. During the experimental analysis of the present invention (as set forth herein), a sight glass was used to observe the filament network 20 and substrate 22 during the CVD reaction. A dual wavelength pyrometer 65 was also employed to further monitor the filament 20 temperature.

A particular advantage of the structure and method of the present invention lies in the fact that the polycrystalline diamond membrane is chemically vapor deposited on the substrate such that the polycrystalline diamond membrane is continuous, substantially compressive stress free, pin-holes and defects free, and exhibits a wrinkle-free topography.

To fabricate theX-ray lithography mask in accordance with this invention, following deposition of the diamond membrane 1 onto the substrate 7 and removal of the coated substrate 7 from the reactor (Figures 1, 2), an etch resistant mask 2 is applied to the back surface of the coated substrate 7 to define one or more openings (Figure 3). The back side is then etched through the mask by preferential chemical etchant until a window 3 is formed (Figure 4). An X-ray absorbing pattern 4 comprising gold, nickel, tungsten, tantalum, titanium, or other suitable material or their combination is then deposited on top of the diamond membrane 1 (Figure 5), after which the specified pattern is left by the selective etching. For convenience, etch resistant mask 2 is shown to have been removed at this point during the developing step. It could be removed instead either earlier or later or not at all, if desired.

The examples which follow illustrate the method of the invention and of the polycrystalline diamond membranes produced thereby. The examples are for illustrative purposes only.

PRE-TREATMENT OF A NEW FILAMENT

The preferred filament network of used in the present invention was assembled with 1.0 mm diameter tantalum wire and positioned in the center of the ∼152 mm (∼6") diameter six-way cross HFCVD reactor. The total length of the filament wire used was 132 cm with an effective surface area of 41.4 cm2. A 102 mm (4") silicon wafer was decreased and mounted on the holder similar to the one described in detail earlier. The distance between the network and the silicon wafer was ∼15 mm. The network was heated rapidly to ∼1850°C in the presence of ∼220 sccm flow of 1% CH4 in H2 and 4 kPa (30 torr) to condition and carburized. This flow rate provides a carbon in the feed gas to filament surface area ratio of 4.6 x 10-3 g/m2s (2.8 x 10-5 g/cm2 min) It was pre-treated using the time-temperature sequence shown in FIGURE 6. The maximum filament temperature was limited to ∼2,200°C. It was maintained for 30 min., thereafter the temperature wad reduced to ∼2,150°C. The flow rate of 1% CH4 in H2 was reduced to ∼1.8 ml/s (∼110 sccm) This flow rate and and ∼2,150°C filament temperature were maintained for 22 hours. The network was then cooled under flowing helum gas.

The surface of the filament was carburized well, as evidenced by gold color of TaC. No signs of filament bending were noted during and after carburization. Additionally, no signs of graphitic carbon deposit were seen on the filament.

The filament carburization procedure described above was used prior to using a new filament for depositing thin polycrystalline diamond membrane an the substrates in all the examples described below. In some of the examples a used tantalum filament (filament used previously in depositing PCD films in one or more experiments) was utilized for depositing diamond membranes. In no case was a virgin tantalum filament was used for depositing polycrystalline diamond membranes.

EXAMPLES Example 1

A 101 mm (4") diameter silicon wafer was placed in a HFCVD reactor as described above. The wafer was pre-etched for one hour in an ultrasonic bath using a slurry of 30-35 µm diamond powder in ethanol. A distance of ∼13 mm was maintained between the wafer and filament network. The filament network was pre-treated or pre-carburized using the procedure described in the pre-treatment of a new filament section. The wafer was heated to ∼650°C (determined by placing a thermocouple behind the wafer touching its back surface) under flowing He for 1/2 hour by energizing the filament network with an A.C. power supply. After 1/2 hour the flow of He was stopped and a flow of .75 ml/s (45 sccm) of 1% CH4 in H2 was initiated. The wafer temperature was increased slowly to ∼680°C to begin depositing diamond. The average temperature of filament network made of 1 mm diameter tantalum wires was ∼2,060°C during diamond deposition. The silicon wafer was rotated at ∼5 revolutions per hour during diamond deposition, which was continued for 18 hours. After this time, the flow of feed gas was switched from .75 ml/s (45 sccm) of 1% CH4 in H2 to ∼.83 ml/s (∼50 sccm)of He. The filament power was turned off after 1/2 hour and the diamond coated wafer was cooled under flowing He gas.

The wafer was deposited with ∼2µm thick, adherent, coherent, and continuous film. The film was smooth and had a reflective surface finish. It was free of pin-holes. Furthermore, it showed excellent electrical resistivity, which was determined by a hand held ohm-meter.

The uncoated side of the wafer was masked with wax, exposing a two-inch diameter area in the middle of the wafer. This exposed area was etched with a mixture of HF/HNO3 acid to remove silicon as well as to expose thin diamond membrane. The wax was then removed by dissolving it in an organic solvent. The thin polycrystalline diamond membrane was free of compressive stresses, as indicated by the absence of wrinkles. It was optically transparent, and showed no signs of defects. The polycrystalline diamond membrane has smooth and reflective surface finish on both sides. The thin diamond membrane was >99% transparent to 0.2 nm (2Å) wavelength X-rays. The transparency of this membrane was >60% to 1.0 nm (10Å) wavelength X-rays. The X-ray transparency of diamond membrane was determined to be higher than 2.5µm thick Mylar, which is a known X-ray transparent material. This example therefore showed that a thin polycrystalline diamond X-ray membrane could be produced by HFCVD technique.

Example 2

The diamond deposition experiment described in Example 1 was repeated using a similar reactor, type and size of silicon wafer, surface preparation technique, pre-treated or pre-carburized filament network and deposition conditions and procedure.

The wafer was deposited with -2µm thick, adherent, coherent, continuous and pin-hole free polycrystalline diamond film. The film was smooth and had a reflective surface finish. The wafer was sectioned into four pieces. These pieces were masked and etched to prepare 12.7 mm (1/2 inch)diameter membranes. These membranes were free of compressive stresses, as indicated by the absence of wrinkles. They had smooth and reflective surface finish on both sides. They were also optically transparent--transparency at 600 and 800 nanometer wavelengths was >60 and >70%, respectively. They were >99% transparent to 0.2 nm (2Å) wavelength X-rays. Their transparency was ∼70% to 1.0 nm (10Å) wavelength X-rays. This example therefore showed that a thin polycrystalline diamond X-ray membranes with excellent optical and X-ray transparencies could be produced by HFCVD technique.

Example 3A

The diamond deposition experiment described in Example 1 was repeated using a similar reactor, type and size of silicon wafer, deposition procedure, pre-treated or pre-carburized filament network, and filament network and wafer temperatures except for ∼14 mm filament network to wafer distance and .41 ml/s (25 sccm) flow of 1% CH4 in H2 during diamond deposition (see Table 1). The wafer was pre-etched with a slurry of 20-25µm diamond powder in ethanol in an ultrasonic bath for one hour.

The wafer was deposited with 1-2µm thick, uniform, adherent, coherent, continuous and pin-hole free diamond film. The film was smooth and had a reflective surface finish.

A 50.8 mm (two-inch) diameter diamond membrane was etched in the middle of the wafer following the procedure described in Example 1. The membrane was free of compressive stresses, as indicated by the absence of wrinkles. It was optically transparent, and showed no signs of defects. The optical transparency of membrane was better than membranes of Example 2. The membrane had smooth and reflective surface finish on both sides. This example thus showed that a thin polycrystalline diamond membrane could be produced by HFCVD using .41 ml/s (25 sccm) flow of 1% CH4 in H2, ∼14mm filament network to wafer distance and 680°C wafer temperature.

Example 3B

The diamond deposition experiment described in Example 3A was repeated using a similar reactor, type and size of silicon wafer, deposition procedure, pre-treated or pre-carburized filament network and filament and wafer temperatures except for ∼12 mm filament network to wafer distance and .75 ml/s (45 sccm)of 1% CH4 in H2 during diamond deposition (see Table 1). The wafer was pre-etched with a slurry of 30-35 µm diamond powder in ethanol in an ultrasonic bath for 1 hour.

The wafer was deposited with 1-2µm thick, uniform, adherent, coherent, continuous and pin-hole free polycrystalline diamond film. The film was smooth and had a reflective surface finish.

A 50.8 mm (two-inch) diameter diamond membrane was etched in the middle of the wafer following the procedure described in Example 1. The membrane was free of compressive stresses. It was optically transparent and had smooth and reflective surface finish on both sides.

This example showed that a thin polycrystalline diamond membrane could be produced by HFCVD using 0.75 ml/s (45 sccm)of 1% CH4 in H2, ∼12 mm filament network to wafer distance and 680°C wafer temperature.

Example 3C

The diamond deposition experiment described in Example 3B was repeated using a similar reactor, type and size of silicon wafer, deposition procedure, pre-treated or pre-carburized filament network, filament and wafer temperatures, and flow rate of feed gas except for using ∼13 mm filament network to wafer distance (see Table 1). The wafer was pre-etched with a slurry of 30-35µm diamond powder in ethanol in an ultrasonic bath for 2 hours.

The wafer was deposited with 1-2µm thick, uniform, adherent, coherent, continuous and pin-hole free polycrystalline diamond film. The film was smooth and had a reflective surface finish.

A two-inch diameter diamond membrane was etched in the middle of the wafer following the procedure described in Example 1. The membrane was free of compressive stresses. It was optically transparent and had smooth and reflective surface finish on both sides.

This example showed that a thin diamond membrane could be produced by HFCVD using 0.75 l/s (45 sccm) of 1% CH4 in H2, ∼13 mm filament network to wafer distance, and 680°C wafer temperature.

Example 3D

The diamond deposition experiment described in Example 3A was repeated using the identical reactor, procedure, conditions, and pre-carburized filament network except for using 7.5 ml/s (455 sccm) flow rate of 1% CH4 in H2 instead of .41 ml/s (25 sccm) (see Table 1).

The wafer was deposited with 1-2µm thick, uniform, adherent, coherent, continuous and pin-hole free polycrystalline diamond film. The diamond membrane (50.8 mm (two-inch diameter)) again was free of compressive stresses. It was optically transparent and had smooth and reflective surface finish in both sides.

This example showed that a thin diamond membrane could be produced by HFCVD using 0.75 ml/s (45 sccm) of 1% CH4 in H2, ∼14 mm filament network to wafer distance, and 680°C wafer temperature.

Example 3E

The diamond deposition experiment described in Example 3A was repeated using a similar reactor, type and size of silicon wafer, deposition procedure, pre-carburized filament network, and filament network and wafer temperatures except for ∼13 mm filament network to wafer distance and 1.41 ml/s (88 sccm) flow of 1% CH4 in H2 (see Table 1).

The wafer was deposited with 1-2µm thick, uniform, adherent, coherent, continuous and pin-hole free polycrystalline diamond film. The diamond membrane (50.8 mm (two-inch diameter)) was once again free of compressive stresses. It was optically transparent and had smooth and reflective surface finish on both sides.

This example showed that a thin diamond membrane could be produced by HFCVD using 1.46 ml/s (88 sccm) of 1% CH4 in H2, ∼13 mm filament network to wafer distance and 680°C wafer temperature.

Example 3F

The diamond deposition experiment described in Example 3E was repeated using the identical reactor, procedure, and conditions except for 7.3 ml/s (440 sccm) flow of 1% CH4 in H2 (see Table 1).

The wafer was deposited with 1-2µm thick, uniform, adherent, coherent, continuous and pin-hole free polycrystalline diamond film. The diamond membrane (50.8 mm (two-inch diameter)) was free of compressive stresses. It was optically transparent and had smooth and reflective surface finish on both sides.

This example showed that a thin diamond membrane could be produced by HFCVD using 7.3 ml/s (440 sccm) of 1% CH4 in H2, ∼13 mm filament network to wafer distance and 680°C wafer temperature.

Example 3G

The diamond deposition experiment described in Example 3E was repeated using the identical reactor, procedure, and conditions except for 9.16 ml/s (550 sccm) flow of 1% CH4 in H2 (see Table 1).

The wafer was deposited with 1-2µm thick, uniform, adherent, coherent, continuous and pin-hole free polycrystalline diamond film. The diamond membrane (two-inch diameter) was free of compressive stresses. It was optically transparent and had smooth and reflective surface finish on both sides.

This example showed that a thin diamond membrane could be produced by HFCVD using 9.16 ml/s (550 sccm) of 1% CH4 in H2, ∼13 mm filament network to wafer distance and 680°C wafer temperature.

Example 3H

The diamond deposition experiment described in Example 3E was repeated using the identical reactor, and deposition procedure and conditions except for 10 ml/s (605 sccm) of 1% CH4 in H2 (see Table 1).

The wafer was deposited with 1-2µm thick, uniform, adherent, coherent, continuous and pin-hole free polycrystalline diamond film. The diamond membrane (50.8 mm (two-inch diameter)) however was under compressive stresses, as evidenced by the presence of wrinkles. It was optically transparent and had smooth and reflective surface finish on both sides.

This example showed that a thin diamond membrane for X-ray lithography could not be produced by HFCVD using 10 ml/s (605 sccm) of 1% CH4 in H2, ∼13 mm filament network to wafer distance, and 680°C wafer temperature.

Example 3I

The diamond deposition experiment described in Example 3E was repeated using the identical reactor, procedure, and conditions except for 11 ml/s (660 sccm) of 1% CH4 in H2 (see Table 1).

The wafer was deposited with 1-2µm thick, uniform, adherent, coherent, continuous and pin-hole free polycrystalline diamond film. The diamond membrane (50.8 mm (two-inch diameter)) however was under compressive stresses, as evidenced by the presence of wrinkles. It was optically transparent and had smooth and reflective surface finish on both sides.

This example showed that a thin diamond membrane for X-ray lithography could not be produced by HFCVD using ≥ 10.08 ml/s (605 sccm) of 1% CH4 in H2, ∼13 mm filament network to wafer distance, and 680°C wafer temperature.

Example 3J

The diamond deposition experiment described in Example 3A was repeated using a similar reactor, deposition procedure, and filament network and wafer temperatures, pre-carburized filament network except for 76.2 mm (3") diameter wafer, 0.75 ml/s (45 sccm) of 1% CH4 in H2, and ∼13 mm filament network to wafer distance (see Table 1).

The wafer was deposited with 1-2µm thick, uniform, adherent, coherent, continuous and pin-hole free polycrystalline diamond film. The diamond membrane was free of compressive stresses. It was optically transparent and had smooth and reflective surface finish on both sides.

This example showed that a thin diamond membrane could be produced by HFCVD on 76.2 mm (3") diameter silicon wafer.

Example 4A

The diamond deposition experiment described in Example 1 was repeated using a similar reactor, type and size of silicon wafer, and deposition procedure except for ∼9 mm filament network to wafer distance, 1.46 ml/s (88 sccm) flow of 1% CH4 in H2, and ∼660°C wafer temperature (see Table 2). The wafer was pre-etched with a slurry of 30-35µm diamond powder in ethanol in an ultrasonic bath for two hours.

The wafer was deposited with 1-2µm thick, uniform, adherent, coherent, continuous and pin-hole free polycrystalline diamond film. The film had a slightly dull surface finish.

A 25.4 mm (one-inch) diameter diamond membrane was etched in the middle of the wafer following the procedure described in Example 1. The membrane was found to be under compressive stresses, as evidenced by the presence of wrinkles. It was however optically transparent.

Scanning electron micrograph of PCD film revealed it to contain coarse-grained, marginally oriented crystals. The average crystal size appeared to be ∼0.5 µm. It also appeared to have a fine cubic surface morphology. The x-ray diffraction scan confirmed that the diamond crystals in the film are preferentially oriented in the (220) direction (see Table 4). The crystallite size varied from 260 to 590 Å. This information indicated that thin diamond films with crystals oriented in (220) direction are not desirable for x-ray lithography membrane application.

This example showed that a thin diamond membrane for X-ray Lithography could not be produced by HFCVD using ∼9 mm filament network to wafer distance.

Example 4B

The diamond deposition experiment described in Example 4A was repeated using the identical reactor, type and size of silicon wafer, surface preparation technique, and deposition procedure and conditions except for ∼740°C wafer temperature, as shown in Table 2.

The wafer was deposited with 1-2µm thick, uniform, adherent, coherent, continuous and pin-hole free polycrystalline diamond film. The film had a slightly dull surface finish. the diamond membrane (25.4 mm (one-inch diameter)) however was under compressive stresses.

This example showed that a thin diamond membrane for X-ray lithography could not be produced by HFCVD using ∼9 mm filament network to wafer distance and 740°C substrate temperature.

Example 4C

The diamond deposition experiment described in Example 4A was repeated using the identical reactor, type and size of silicon wafer, surface preparation technique, and deposition procedure and conditions except for ∼700°C wafer temperature and 2.2 ml/s (132 sccm) flow of 1% CH4 in H2 (see Table 2).

The wafer was deposited with ∼2µm thick, uniform, adherent, coherent, continuous and pin-hole free polycrystalline diamond film. The film had a dull surface finish. The diamond membrane (25.4 mm (one-inch diameter)) however was under compressive stresses. Additionally, it had a poor optical transparency.

This example showed that a thin diamond membrane for X-ray lithography could not be produced by HFCVD using ∼9 mm filament network to wafer distance.

Example 5A

The diamond deposition experiment described in Example 1 was repeated using a similar reactor, type and size of silicon wafer, surface preparation procedure, and deposition procedure and conditions except for ∼11 mm filament network to wafer distance, 0.75 ml/s (45 sccm) flow of 1% CH4 in H2 and ∼660°C substrate temperature (see Table 2).

The wafer was deposited with ∼1 µm thick, uniform, adherent, coherent, continuous and pin-hole free polycrystalline diamond film. The film had a smooth and reflective surface finish.

A 25.4 mm (one-inch) diameter diamond membrane was etched in the middle of the wafer following the procedure described in Example 1. The membrane was found to be under compressive stresses, as evidenced by the presence of wrinkles. It was however optically transparent.

This example showed that a thin diamond membrane for X-ray lithography could not be produced by HFCVD using ∼660°C temperature and 11 mm substrate to filament network distance.

Example 5B

The diamond deposition experiment described in Example 5A was repeated using the identical reactor, type and size of silicon wafer, surface preparation technique, and deposition procedure and conditions except for 2.2 ml/s (132 sccm) flow of 1% CH4 in H2 (see Table 2).

The wafer was deposited with 1-2µm thick, uniform, adherent, coherent, continuous and pin-hole free polycrystalline diamond film. The film had a smooth surface finish. The diamond membrane (25.4 mm (one-inch diameter)) however was under compressive stresses.

This example showed that a thin diamond membrane for X-ray lithography could not be produced by HFCVD using ∼660°C wafer temperature and 11 mm substrate to filament network distance.

Example 5C

The diamond deposition experiment described in Example 5A was repeated using the identical reactor, type and size of silicon wafer, surface preparation technique, and deposition procedure and conditions except for 1.46 ml/s (88 sccm) flow of 1% CH4 in H2 and ∼13 mm filament network to wafer distance.

The wafer was deposited with 1-2µm thick, uniform, adherent, coherent, continuous and pin-hole free polycrystalline diamond film. The film had a dull surface finish. The diamond membrane (25.4 mm (one-inch diameter)) however was under compressive stresses.

This example showed that a thin diamond membrane for X-ray lithography could not be produced by HFCVD using ∼660°C wafer temperature and 13 mm filament network to wafer distance.

Example 5D

The diamond deposition experiment described in Example 5A was repeated using the identical reactor, type and size of silicon wafer, surface preoperative technique, and deposition procedure and conditions except for ∼740°C wafer temperature, as shown in Table 2.

The wafer was deposited with 1-2µm thick, uniform, adherent, coherent, continuous and pin-hole free polycrystalline diamond film. The film had a smooth surface finish. The diamond membrane (25.4 mm (one-inch diameter)) however was under compressive stresses.

This example showed that a thin diamond membrane for X-ray lithography could not be produced by HFCVD using ∼740°C wafer temperature and 11 mm filament network to wafer distance.

Example 5E

The diamond deposition experiment described in Example 5D was repeated using the identical set-up, procedure, and condition except for 2.2 ml/s (132 sccm) flow of 1% CH4 in H2 (see Table 2).

The wafer was deposited with 1-2µm thick, uniform, adherent, coherent, continuous and pin-hole free polycrystalline diamond film. The diamond membrane (25.4 mm (one-inch diameter)) however was under compressive stresses.

Scanning electron micrograph of PCD fiber revealed it to contain coarse-grained, marginally oriented diamond crystals. The average crystal size appeared to be ∼1.0 µm. It had a plate-like surface finish. The x-ray diffraction scan confirmed that the diamond crystals are preferentially oriented in the (311) and (400) directions, as shown in Table 4. The crystallite size of this film varied between 38 nm and 90 nm (380 Å and 900 Å), indicating it to be larger than film of Example 4A. This information indicated that thin diamond films with crystals oriented in (311) and (400) directions are not desirable for x-ray lithography membrane application.

This example showed that a thin diamond membrane for X-ray lithography could not be produced by HFCVD using ∼740°C wafer temperature and 11 mm filament network to wafer distance.

Example 5F

The diamond deposition experiment described in Example 5D was repeated using identical set-up, procedure, and conditions except for 1.46 ml/s (88 sccm) flow of 1% CH4 in H2 and ∼13 mm filament network to wafer distance (see Table 2).

The wafer was deposited with 1-2µm thick, uniform, adherent, coherent, continuous and pin-hole free polycrystalline diamond film. The diamond membrane (25.4 mm (one-inch diameter)) however was under compressive stresses.

This example showed that a thin diamond membrane for X-ray lithography could not be produced by HFCVD using ∼740°C wafer temperature and 13 mm filament network to wafer distance.

Example 5G

The diamond deposition experiment described in Example 5D was repeated using the identical set-up, procedure, and conditions except for ∼700°C filament temperature (see Table 2).

The wafer was deposited with 1-2µm thick, uniform, adherent, coherent, continuous and pin-hole free polycrystalline diamond film. The diamond membrane (25.4 mm (one-inch diameter)) was free of compressive stresses. It was also optically transparent, but the transparency was slightly worse than that noted in Example 2.

This example showed that a thin diamond membrane for X-ray lithography could be produced by HFCVD using ∼700°C wafer temperature and 11 mm filament network to wafer distance.

Example 5H

The diamond deposition experiment described in Example 5G was repeated using the identical set-up, procedure, and conditions except for ∼13 mm filament network to wafer distance (see Table 2).

The wafer was deposited with 1-2µm thick, uniform, adherent, coherent, continuous and pin-hole free polycrystalline diamond film. The diamond membrane (25.4 mm (one-inch diameter)) was optically transparent (same as Example 5G) and free of compressive stresses.

This example once again showed that a thin diamond membrane for X-ray lithography could be produced by HFCVD using ∼700°C wafer temperature and 13 mm filament network to wafer distance.

Example 5I

The diamond deposition experiment described in Example 5H was repeated using the identical set-up, procedure, and conditions except for 1.46 ml/s (88 sccm) flow of 1% CH4 in H2 (see Table 2).

The wafer was deposited with 1-2µm thick, uniform, adherent, coherent, continuous and pin-hole free polycrystalline diamond film. The diamond membrane (25.4 mm (one-inch diameter)) was optically transparent (same as Example 5G) and free of compressive stresses.

This example showed that a thin diamond membrane for X-ray lithography could be produced by HFCVD using ∼700°C wafer temperature and 13 mm filament network to wafer distant.

Example 5J

The diamond deposition experiment described in Example 5I was repeated with 2.2 ml/s (132 sccm) flow of 1% CH4 in H2 (see Table 2).

The wafer was deposited with 1-2µm thick, uniform, adherent, coherent, continuous and pin-hole free polycrystalline diamond film. The diamond membrane (25.4 mm (one-inch diameter)) was optically transparent (same as Example 5G) and free of compressive stresses.

Scanning electron micrograph of PCD film revealed it to contain fine-grained, randomly oriented diamond crystals with average crystal size to be less than 0.3 µm. The film had smooth, mirror-like finish. X-ray diffraction scan confirmed that the crystals in this film were randomly oriented (see Table 4). The average crystallite size varied from 30 nm to 43 nm (300 Å to 430 Å), which was considerably lower than those observed in films of Examples 4A and 5E. This information indicated that thin diamond films with randomly oriented crystals and relatively small crystallite size are desirable for x-ray lithography membrane application.

This example showed that a thin diamond membrane for X-ray lithography could be produced by HFCVD using ∼700°C wafer temperature and 13 mm filament network to wafer distance.

Example 6A

A 102 mm (4") diameter silicon wafer was placed in a HFCVD reactor as described in Example 1. The wafer was pre-etched for one hour in an ultrasonic bath using a slurry of 20-25 diamond powder in ethanol. A distance of ∼14 mm was maintained between the wafer and filament network. The filament network was pre-carburized using the procedure described in the pre-treatment of a new filament section. The wafer was heated to ∼650°C under flowing He for 1/2 hour by energizing the filament network with an A.C. power supply. After 1/2 hour the flow of He was stopped and a flow of .75 ml/s (45 sccm) of 1% CH4 in H2 was initiated. The wafer temperature was increased slowly to 660°C to begin depositing diamond using a cyclic process. It involved depositing diamond in two sets of two cycles carried out at two different temperatures. For example, the wafer was deposited with diamond for 5 hours at 660°C using .75 ml/s (45 sccm) of 1% CH4 in H2. After 5 hours of polycrystalline diamond (PCD) deposition in the first cycle, the temperature was increased to 680° in about 10 minutes and maintained there to deposit PCD for another 5 hours, thereby providing 10 hours of deposition time for one set of two cycles. This set of two cycles was repeated by depositing PCD at 660°C and 680°C for 5 additional hours each to provide a total deposition time of 20 hours (see Table 3). The silicon wafer was rotated at ∼5 revolutions per hour during PCD deposition. After completing two sets of two deposition cycles, the flow of feed gas was switched from 45 sccm of 1% CH4 in H2 to ∼.83 ml/s (∼50 sccm) of He. The filament power was turned off after 1/2 hour and the diamond coated wafer was cooled under flowing He gas.

The wafer was deposited with ∼2µm thick, adherent, coherent, continuous and pin-hole free polycrystalline diamond film. The film was smooth and had a reflective surface finish.

A 50.8 mm (two-inch) diameter membrane was etched in the middle of the wafer following procedure described in Example 1. The membrane was free of compressive stresses, as indicated by the absence of wrinkles. It was optically transparent, and showed no signs of defects. The optical transparency of the membrane was similar to that noted in Example 2. The membrane had smooth and reflective surface finish on both sides.

This example showed that a thin diamond membrane could be produced by cycling deposition temperature between 660° and 680°C in a HFCVD reactor.

Example 6B

The diamond deposition experiment described in Example 6A was repeated using a similar reactor, type and size of silicon wafer, surface preparation technique, and deposition process and conditions except for 680°C in the first cycle and 700°C in the second cycle of two sets of two cycles. A deposition time of 5 hours was used in each cycle, thereby providing a total deposition time of 20 hours.

The wafer was deposited with ∼2µm thick, adherent, coherent, continuous and pin-hole free polycrystalline diamond film. The film has smooth and reflective surface finish.

A 50.8 mm (two-inch) diameter membrane was etched in the middle of the wafer following the procedure described in Example 1. The membrane was free of compressive stresses, as indicated by absence of wrinkles. It was optically transparent and showed no signs of defect. The optical transparency of the membrane was similar to that noted in Example 2. The membrane had smooth and reflective surface finish on both sides.

This example showed that a thin diamond membrane could be produced by cycling deposition temperature between 680° and 700°C in a HFCVD reactor.

X-RAY DIFFRACTION AND TRANSMISSION ANALYSIS

X-ray diffraction analyses were carried out using a Siemens D-500 Bragg-Brentano diffractometer equipped with a normal focus, 2000 W, Cu target X-ray tube operated at 40 kV and 35 mA, a curved graphite crystal monocromator, and a scintillation detector. Digitized data were collected and treated using a Siemens DACO-MP microprocessor and an IBM PC-AT computer equipped with Diffrac AT software. Both conventional theta/two-theta (theta coupled) and theta/two-theta (theta coupled and offset) scans were run using 1° slits with a 0.05° receiving slit and 0.02° step sizes. Typical counting times per step were 3-5 sec. In order to suppress the intense Si(400) reflection near 69.2°, the theta coupled and offset scans were run with a constant theta offset of -2.0°.

CID scans were run with the following order of slits: incident beam aperture (open), divergence slit (0.1°), sample, diffracted beam aperture (open), receiving slit (0.15°) , and monochromator (0.15°). This slit arrangement gave an incident beam of limited divergence at small incident beam angles which was completely intercepted by the sample and which yielded reasonable intensities. In the CID scans the sample was fixed at a small angle to the incident beam while the detector was scanned through two-theta. Optimum results were obtained by using grazing incident beam angels of 2° and 1°. At incident angles greater than 2°, substrate penetration by the beam was significant. On the other hand, at less than 1° incident beam angles instrument alignment was critical and peak smearing became pronounced. The Soller slit in the diffracted beam was used as designed by the instrument manufacturer, i.e., the slit blades were in the vertical plane relative to the sample surface in the horizontal plane when the detector was at zero. No attempt was made to convert the Soller slit to parallel beam optics. Typical CID scans were done using 0.02 steps and 8-12 sec. per step.

Crystallite sizes in the PCD films were calculated from the Scherrer equation D = (0.9) / ((B1 - B0) cos Θ) where D is the volume average of the crystallite dimension in a direction normal to the diffracting planes, 0.9 is the crystallite shape factor, is the wavelength, B1 is the full width at half-maximum (FWHM) peak height in radians of the peak being measured, B0 is the instrumental broadening correction to the FWHM in radians, and Θ is half the diffraction angle. B0 was determined using a highly crystalline corundum plate analyzed under the same conditions. FWHM measurements were done on Kα1 peaks after stripping the Kα2 contribution. Crystallite size calculations presumed that all line broadening was due to size effects rather than to the presence of crystallite strain or crystal defects.

The x-ray transmission properties of a free-standing diamond film were determined by using an EDAX PV 9100/70 Energy Dispersive X-ray Fluorescence spectrometer equipped with a direct excitation Rh target X-ray tube and a Si(Li) detector fitted with a nominal 7 µm thick beryllium window. A collar was designed and machined out of plexiglass to mount free-standing diamond receiving shaft of the detector for determining transmission properties. A reference pellet containing approximately 19% Na, 7% Al, 8% Si, 2% Ca, and 1.7% Fe was prepared from inorganic salts and oxides and used to generate spectra of short and long wavelengths with a Rh x-ray tube operated at 15 kV and 150 µamps, no incident beam filter, vacuum, and 900 sec. live counting time. Intensities for each peak, including the Rh target L line, were ratioed to the Fe K-alpha peak reference pellet analyzed without the presence of a film in front of the detector. Percent transmissions were calculated from these ratios by using the following equation : Percent Transmission = I / (Io) x 100 where I and Io are intensity transmitted with and without the presence of diamond film.

SUMMARY OF EXAMPLES

Examples 3A to 3G and 3J thus show that thin diamond membranes with excellent optical and X-ray transmittance properties can be produced by using filament network to wafer distance varying from 12 to 14 mm, wafer temperature of ∼680°C, and the flow rate of 1% CH4 in H2 less than 10 ml/s (605 sccm) These examples also show that thin diamond membranes can be produced by depositing diamond films on 76 mm and 102 mm (3" and 4") diameter silicon wafers and etching the silicon support.

Examples 4A to 4C show the effects of deposition temperature and filament network to wafer distance upon the quality of a diamond membrane. The data clearly show that a filament network to wafer distance of ∼9 mm is not desirable for producing diamond membranes for X-ray lithography application.

Examples 5A to 5J show that thin diamond membranes for X-ray lithography cannot be produced by using wafer temperatures ≤660°C and ≥740°C. They can however be produced by using a temperature between 660°C and 740°C. This is an important and significant finding. These examples also show that the optical transparency of diamond membranes (Examples 5G to 5J) decrease slightly with an increase in the deposition temperature. The optical transparency of these membranes however can be improved by enduring the thickness by polishing or ion beam milling the diamond film.

Examples 4A, 5E and 5F showed that PCD films with randomly oriented crystals and large crystallite size (>500 Å) are not suitable for x-ray lithography membrane applications. They also showed that it would be desirable to deposit PCD film with randomly oriented crystals and small crystallite size for x-ray lithography application.

Examples 6A and 6B show that a combination of low and high deposition temperatures can be used to produce thin PCD membranes for X-ray lithography provided the temperatures are between 660°C and 740°C and the filament network to wafer distance is greater than 9 mm.

One skilled in the art would recognize that additional analytic techniques can be used to characterize the structure and composition of diamond membranes. X-ray diffraction is one example of the techniques and is very useful for determining the size and geometric orientation of the individual diamond crystals composing the membrane. A combination of crystal size and orientation may relate directly to the stress state of the resulting membrane.

From the foregoing description, one of ordinary skill in the art can easily ascertain that the present invention provides a novel method for producing a substantially compressive stress free diamond membrane for X-ray lithography. A highly important technical advantage of the invention is that pattern distortion and/or damage is virtually eliminated during X-ray lithography.

Without departing from the scope of the claims, one of ordinary skill can make various changes and modifications to the invention to adapt it to various usages and conditions.

Example 6A 6B Experiment No. 200 217 Silcon Wafer (4") 102 mm (4") 102 mm Filament to Wafer Distance, mm ∼14 ∼14 Wafer Temp, °C First Cycle ∼660 ∼680 Second Cycle ∼680 ∼700 No. Sets of Cycles 2 2 Flow Rate of 1% (45).75 (45).75 CH4 in H2, (sccm) ml/s Total Pressure (Torr) kPa (30) 4 (30) 4 Deposition Time, Hrs. 20 20 PCD Film Thickness, µm ∼2 ∼2 Surface Finish of PCT Film 1* 1* PCD Membrane Quality 2* 2*
*1 Smooth and shiny *2 Excellent, free of compressive stresses, and optically transparent

*3 Film under compressive stresses but optically transparent


Anspruch[de]
  1. Verfahren zur Herstellung einer im wesentlichen druckspannungsfreien, lunker- und fehlerfreien, kontinuierlichen polykristallinen Diamanten-Röntgenstrahl-Membran, gekennzeichnet durch Zubereiten der Oberfläche eines tragenden Substrats, bestehend aus Material, das ausgewählt wird aus der Gruppe Silicium, Polysilicium, Siliciumcarbid, Siliciumnitrid, Siliciumoxynitrid, Borcarbid, Bornitrid, Tonerde, Titancarbid, Titannitrid, Wolfram, Molybdän, Tantal und Gemischen derselben durch Behandeln der Substratoberfläche mit einem Brei aus Diamantpartikel und einem flüchtigen Lösungsmittel, durch Verbringen in ein Ultraschallbad für einen gewissen Zeitraum, Legen des Substrats in eine durch einen Heizdraht aufgeheizte chemische Aufdampfreaktorkammer; Vorheizen des Substrats durch elektrisches Laden des aufgekohlten Reaktorheizdrahtnetzes auf eine Temperatur im Bereich von etwa 400°C bis 650°C in Anwesenheit eines Inertgases mit einem Abstand zwischen Substrat und Heizdrahtnetz von 11 mm bis 20 mm; Halten der Vorheiztemperatur während einer gegebenen Zeitspanne; Aufheizen des Substrats auf eine Temperatur im Bereich 650°C bis 700°C in Anwesenheit eines Gasgemisches aus strömendem Wasserstoff und Kohlenstoffverbindungen mit einer Rate von 0,16 bis 10 ml/s (10 sccm bis 605 sccm); chemisches Aufdampfen einer im wesentlichen optisch und röntgenstrahlendurchlässigen, haftenden und zusammenhängenden polykristallinen Diamantmembran mit im wesentlichen gleichmäßiger Dicke auf dieses Substrat während einer Ablagerungszeit von 5 bis 80 Std.; Kühlen des Substrats durch Ersticken des Ablagerungsprozesses und Leiten eines Inertgases über das Substrat bis die Temperatur des Substrats während des Abkühlschrittes im wesentlichen Zimmertemperatur erreicht hat; Herausnehmen des Substrats mit einer im wesentlichen druckbeanspruchungsfreien, polykristallinen Diamantenröntgenstrahlmembran aus dem Reaktor, Anlegen einer ätzfesten Maske auf der Rückseite des Substrats zum Definieren einer oder mehrerer Öffnungen; Ätzen der Rückseite des Substrats durch vorzugsweise ein chemisches Ätzmittel; und Herausholen der druckbeanspruchungsfreien, lunkerfreien und fehlerfreien kontinuierlichen polykristallinen Diamantmembran, die von einem Substratrahmen getragen wird.
  2. Ein Verfahren gemäß Anspruch 1, in dem die Diamantenpartikel 20 µm bis 100 µm Diamantpulver enthalten.
  3. Ein Verfahren gemäß Anspruch 1, in dem die Diamantenpartikel 30 µm bis 35 µm Diamantpulver enthalten.
  4. Ein Verfahren gemäß Anspruch 1, in dem der Abstand zwischen dem Substrat und dem Heizdrahtnetz im Bereich von 11 mm bis 15 mm liegt.
  5. Ein Verfahren gemäß Anspruch 1, in dem die Strömungsrate des Inertgases während des Vorheizschrittes im Bereich von 0,83 bis 8,3 ml/s (50 sccm bis 500 sccm, während 10 Min. bis 20 Minuten liegt.
  6. Ein Verfahren gemäß Anspruch 1, in dem die Kohlenstoffverbindung ausgewählt wird aus der Gruppe der C1 bis C4 gesättigten Kohlenwasserstoffe, der C1 bis C4 ungesättigten Kohlenwasserstoffe, C- und O-haltigen Gase, aromatischen Verbindungen und organischen Verbindungen enthaltend C, H und mindestens eines von O und N.
  7. Ein Verfahren gemäß Anspruch 1, in dem die Kohlenstoffverbindung Methan ist.
  8. Ein Verfahren gemäß Anspruch 4, in dem die Konzentration der Kohlenstoffverbindung im Gasgemisch im Bereich von 0,2% bis 5,0% liegt.
  9. Ein Verfahren gemäß Anspruch 4, in dem die Konzentration der Kohlenstoffverbindung im Gasgemisch im Bereich von 0,5 bis 2,0% liegt.
  10. Ein Verfahren gemäß Anspruch 1, in dem der Betriebsdruck des Reaktors während des chemischen Aufdampfschrittes im Bereich von 1,3 - 13 kPa (10 Torr bis 100 Torr) liegt.
  11. Ein Verfahren gemäß Anspruch 1, in dem das Substrat bei den Schritten Vorheizen und chemisches Aufdampfen mit 1 bis 10 Umdrehungen/Std. rotiert.
  12. Ein Verfahren gemäß Anspruch 1, in dem die Aufdampfrate für die polykristalline Diamantmembran im Bereich von 0,05 bis 0,5 µ/h liegt.
  13. Ein Verfahren gemäß Anspruch 1, in dem, die Dicke der polykristallinen Diamantmembran im Bereich von 0,5 µm bis 4 µm liegt.
  14. Ein Verfahren gemäß Anspruch 1, in dem die polykristalline Diamantmembran ein Durchmesser/Dicken-Seitenverhältnis über 100 hat.
  15. Ein Verfahren gemäß Anspruch 1, in dem die polykristalline Diamantmembran eine Zugbeanspruchung aufweist.
  16. Ein Verfahren gemäß Anspruch 1, in dem die polykristalline Diamantmembran eine im wesentlichen faltenfreie Oberflächentopographie aufweist.
Anspruch[en]
  1. A method for producing a substantially compressive stress free, pin-holes and defects free, continuous polycrystalline diamond X-ray membrane characterized by preparing the surface of a supporting substrate comprising a material selected from the group consisting of silicon, polysilicon, silicon carbide, silicon nitride, silicon oxynitride, boron carbide, boron nitride, alumina, titanium carbide, titanium nitride, tungsten, molybdenum, tantalum and mixtures thereof by treating said substrate surface with a slurry of diamond particles and a volatile solvent placed in an ultrasonic bath for a predetermined period of time, placing said substrate into a hot filament chemical vapor deposition reactor chamber; pre-heating said substrate by electrically charging the pre-carburized filament network of said reactor to a temperature in the range of about 400°C to 650°C in the presence of an inert gas at a substrate to filament network distance of 11 mm to 20 mm; maintaining said pre-heating temperature for a predetermined period of time; heating said substrate to a temperature in the range of 650°C to 700°C in the presence of a gaseous mixture of flowing hydrogen and carbon compounds at a rate of 0.16 to 10 ml/sec (10 sccm to 605 sccm); chemically vapor depositing a substantially optically and X-ray transparent, adherent and coherent polycrystalline diamond membrane having a substantially uniform thickness onto said substrate for a deposition time of 5 to 80 hours; cooling said substrate by extinguishing said deposition process and passing an inert gas over said substrate until the temperature of said substrate has reached substantially room temperature during said cool-down step; removing said substrate coated with a substantially compressive stress free polycrystalline diamond X-ray membrane from said reactor; applying an etch resistant mask to the back surface of the said substrate to define one or more openings; etching said back surface of said substrate by preferential chemical etchant; and recovering said compressive stress free, pin-holes and defects free, continuous polycrystalline diamond membrane supported by a substrate frame.
  2. A method according to claim 1 wherein said diamond particles comprise 20µm to 100µm diamond powder.
  3. A method according to claim 1 wherein said diamond particles comprise 30µm to 35µm diamond powder.
  4. A method according to claim 1 wherein the distance between said substrate and said filament network is in the range of 11 mm to 15 mm.
  5. A method according to claim 1 wherein the flow rate of said inert gas during said pre-heating step is in the range of 0.83 to 8.3 ml/sec (50 sccm to 500 sccm) for 10 minutes to 120 minutes.
  6. A method according to claim 1 wherein said carbon compound is selected from the group consisting of C1 to C4 saturated hydrocarbons, C1 to C4 unsaturated hydrocarbons, gases containing C and O, aromatic compounds and organic compounds containing C, H and at least one of O and N.
  7. A method according to claim 1 wherein said carbon compound is methane.
  8. A method according to claim 4 wherein the concentration of said carbon compound in said gaseous mixture is in the range of 0.2% to 5.0%.
  9. A method according to claim 4 wherein the concentration of said carbon compound in said gaseous mixture is in the range of 0.5% to 2.0%.
  10. A method according to claim 1 wherein the operating pressure of said reactor during said chemical vapor deposition step is in the range of 1.3-13kPa (10 Torr to 100 Torr).
  11. A method according to claim 1 wherein said substrate is rotated at 1 to 10 revolutions/hour during said pre-heating and said chemical vapor deposition steps.
  12. A method according to claim 1 wherein the deposition rate for said polycrystalline diamond membrane is in the range of 0.05 to 0.5 microns/hour.
  13. A method according to claim 1 wherein the thickness of said polycrystalline diamond membrane is in the range of 0.5µm to 4µm.
  14. A method according to claim 1 wherein said polycrystalline diamond membrane has a diameter/thickness aspect ratio greater than 100.
  15. A method according to claim 1 wherein said polycrystalline diamond membrane exhibits a tensile stress.
  16. A method according to claim 1 wherein said polycrystalline diamond membrane exhibits a substantially wrinkle-free surface topography.
Anspruch[fr]
  1. Procédé de production d'une membrane pour rayons X en diamant polycristallin continue, sensiblement exempte d'efforts de compression, de trous d'épingle et de défauts, caractérisé en ce qu'il consiste à préparer la surface d'un substrat de support comportant une matière sélectionnée parmi le groupe se composant de silicium, de polysilicium, de carbure de silicium, de nitrure de silicium, d'oxynitrure de silicium, de carbure de bore, de nitrure de bore, d'alumine, de carbure de titane, de nitrure de titane, de tungstène, de molybdène, de tantale et de leurs mélanges en traitant ladite surface du substrat avec une suspension épaisse de particules de diamant et un solvant volatil placés dans un bain aux ultrasons pendant une période de temps prédéterminée, à placer ledit substrat dans une chambre de réaction à dépôt en phase vapeur à filaments chauds ; à préchauffer ledit substrat en chargeant électriquement le réseau de filaments précarburés dudit réacteur jusqu'à une température comprise entre environ 400°C et 650°C en présence d'un gaz inerte pour une distance substrat-réseau de filaments comprise entre 11 mm et 20 mm ; à maintenir ladite température de préchauffe pendant une période de temps prédéterminée ; à porter ledit substrat à une température comprise entre 650°C et 700°C en présence d'un mélange gazeux de composés hydrogénés et carbonés en écoulement à un débit compris entre 0,16 et 10 ml/s (entre 10 sccm à 605 sccm) ; à déposer en phase vapeur une membrane en diamant polycristallin adhérent et cohérent, sensiblement transparent du point du vue optique et vis-à-vis des rayons X et ayant une épaisseur sensiblement uniforme sur ledit substrat pendant un temps de dépôt compris entre 5 et 80 heures ; à refroidir ledit substrat en éteignant ledit processus de dépôt et en faisant passer un gaz inerte sur ledit substrat jusqu'à ce que la température dudit substrat ait atteint sensiblement la température ambiante pendant ladite étape de refroidissement ; à retirer dudit réacteur ledit substrat revêtu d'une membrane pour rayons X en diamant polycristallin sensiblement exempte d'efforts de compression ; à appliquer un masque résistant à l'attaque à la surface dorsale dudit substrat pour définir une ou plusieurs ouvertures ; à attaquer ladite surface dorsale dudit substrat à l'aide d'un réactif d'attaque chimique préféré ; et à récupérer ladite membrane en diamant polycristallin continue, exempte d'efforts de compression, de trous d'épingle et de défauts, supportée par un substrat cadre.
  2. Procédé selon la revendication 1, dans lequel lesdites particules de diamant comportent de la poudre de diamant d'une taille comprise entre 20µm et 100µm.
  3. Procédé selon la revendication 1, dans lequel lesdites particules de diamant comportent de la poudre de diamant comprise entre 30µm et 35µm.
  4. Procédé selon la revendication 1, dans lequel la distance séparant ledit substrat et ledit réseau de filaments est comprise entre 11 mm et 15 mm.
  5. Procédé selon la revendication 1, dans lequel le débit dudit gaz inerte pendant ladite étape de préchauffage est compris entre 0,83 et 8,3 ml/s (entre 50 sccm et 500 sccm) pendant 10 à 120 minutes.
  6. Procédé selon la revendication 1, dans lequel ledit composé carboné est sélectionné parmi le groupe se composant d'hydrocarbures saturés en C1 à C4, d'hydrocarbures insaturés en C1 à C4, de gaz contenant C et O, de composés aromatiques et de composés organiques contenant C, H et au moins un des éléments O et N.
  7. Procédé selon la revendication 1, dans lequel ledit composé carboné est le méthane.
  8. Procédé selon la revendication 4, dans lequel la concentration dudit composé carboné dans ledit mélange gazeux est comprise entre 0,2% et 5,0%.
  9. Procédé selon la revendication 4, dans lequel la concentration dudit composé carboné dans ledit mélange gazeux est comprise entre 0,5% et 2,0%.
  10. Procédé selon la revendication 1, dans lequel la pression d'exploitation dudit réacteur pendant ladite étape de dépôt en phase vapeur est comprise entre 1,3 et 13 KPa (entre 10 torrs et 100 torrs).
  11. Procédé selon la revendication 1, dans lequel on fait tourner ledit substrat à raison de 1 à 10 tours/heure pendant ledit préchauffage et lesdites étapes de dépôt en phase vapeur.
  12. Procédé selon la revendication 1, dans lequel la vitesse de dépôt pour ladite membrane en diamant polycristallin est comprise entre 0,05 et 0,5 microns/heure.
  13. Procédé selon la revendication 1, dans lequel l'épaisseur de ladite membrane en diamant polycristallin est comprise entre 0,5µm et 4µm.
  14. Procédé selon la revendication 1, dans lequel le rapport diamètre/épaisseur de ladite membrane en diamant polycristallin est supérieur à 100.
  15. Procédé selon la revendication 1, dans lequel ladite membrane en diamant polycristallin présente une contrainte de traction.
  16. Procédé selon la revendication 1, dans lequel ladite membrane en diamant polycristallin présente une topographie de surface essentiellement exempte de plis.






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