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Dokumentenidentifikation EP0990486 19.05.2004
EP-Veröffentlichungsnummer 0000990486
Titel POLIERFLÜSSIGKEITSSPENDER
Anmelder Ebara Corp., Tokio/Tokyo, JP
Erfinder KIMURA, Norio, Ohta-ku, Tokyo 144-8510, JP;
HIYAMA, Hirokuni, Fujisawa-shi, Kanagawa 251-8502, JP;
WADA, Yutaka, Fujisawa-shi, Kanagawa 251-8502, JP;
KAWASHIMA, Kiyotaka, Ohta-ku, Tokyo 144-8510, JP;
TSUJIMURA, Manabu, Ohta-ku, Tokyo 144-8510, JP;
KAWAMOTO, Takayoshi, Ohta-ku, Tokyo 144-8510, JP
Vertreter derzeit kein Vertreter bestellt
DE-Aktenzeichen 69823194
Vertragsstaaten DE, FR
Sprache des Dokument EN
EP-Anmeldetag 08.12.1998
EP-Aktenzeichen 989572201
WO-Anmeldetag 08.12.1998
PCT-Aktenzeichen PCT/JP98/05541
WO-Veröffentlichungsnummer 0099029505
WO-Veröffentlichungsdatum 17.06.1999
EP-Offenlegungsdatum 05.04.2000
EP date of grant 14.04.2004
Veröffentlichungstag im Patentblatt 19.05.2004
IPC-Hauptklasse B24B 57/02
IPC-Nebenklasse A23D 7/005   B24B 1/04   

Beschreibung[en]
Technical Field

This invention relates to an apparatus for supplying a polishing solution for use in polishing, for example, semiconductor substrate, and relates in particular to an apparatus for steadily supplying a polishing solution having a constant dispersion of abrading particles in the liquid, as per the preamble of claim 1 or claim 9. Such an apparatus is disclosed, for example, by WO 96 02319 A.

Background Art

Recent advances in circuit integration in semiconductor devices have produced micro-sized circuit patterns with narrow line widths. As a result, circuit pattern printing by optical lithography requires extremely shallow depth of focus, so that the substrate surface needs to be precisely flat in the focal plane of the stepper apparatus.

A method of obtaining a flat surface on a semiconductor substrate is to polish the wafer using a polishing tool (for example, polishing table with a polishing cloth), and a wafer holding member for holding and pressing the surface to be polished of the wafer against the polishing table, and moving the surface to be polished relative to the polishing tool while supplying a polishing solution at the contact interface. Such a polishing apparatus can perform not only mechanical polishing using a polishing solution containing abrasive particles, but can also perform chemical polishing using an alkaline or acidic polishing solution. For example, a slurry for polishing oxidized surface of the wafer is based on a KOH or NH4OH solution with a dispersion of silica particles.

To produce a good substrate using such a polishing apparatus, it is required that the polishing solution of a constant concentration be steadily supplied at a constant rate. A system for supplying a polishing solution has an undiluted solution tank to store mixed solution of KOH, NH4OH and silica powder; a dilution tank to dilute the undiluted solution with pure water and others; and supply piping to deliver the solution from the dilution tank to the nozzle of the polishing apparatus.

However, to meet the demand of cost reduction for equipment and operation, it is desired to supply the polishing solution from one tank to a plurality of polishing apparatuses, so that there is a tendency for long lengths of delivery piping. A result is that the polishing solution becomes stagnant inside the pipe, and tends to cause aggregation of abrasive particles so that abrading particles tends to cluster, causing damage (scratch) to the substrate surface or changing the amount of polishing as a result of changes in solution concentration, or plugging in the line.

Disclosure of Invention

This apparatus is presented in view of the problems outlined above, and it is an object of the present invention to provide a polishing apparatus as claimed in claim 1 or claim 9.

Brief Description of Drawings

  • Figure 1 is a diagram showing the overall configuration of the polishing solution supply apparatus; Figures 2A∼2C are graphs showing the effects of ultrasonic processing; Figures 3A∼3C are similar graphs showing the effects of ultrasonic processing; Figure 4 is also a graph showing the effects of ultrasonic processing; Figure 5 shows another embodiment of the polishing solution supply apparatus; Figures 6A∼6C are various views of the structures of the ultrasonic vibration device shown in Figure 5.

Best Mode for Carrying Out the Invention

In the following, a first embodiment will be presented with reference to Figure 1. This apparatus for delivering a polishing solution comprises: two stock tanks 10 for storing an undiluted solution; a dilution tank 12 for delivering a dilution solution to dilute the undiluted solution to a given concentration; a mixing section 18 for mixing the solutions supplied from the tanks through pipes 14, 16 to produce a polishing solution of a given concentration; a circulation passage 20 for circulating the polishing solution; and a delivery pipe 24 to supply the polishing solution from the circulation passage 20 to the polishing apparatus 22. The stock tank 10 has a stirrer 70 inside, and a ultrasonic vibrator 72 is attached to the bottom section. And, each stock tank 10 has a liquid level sensor 73, a temperature sensor 75 and others.

There are two stock tanks 10, and when one tank becomes empty, a valve 11 is opened to switch to the undiluted solution supply line 14. Each of the supply line 14 and the dilution liquid supply line 16 is connected to a buffer tube 18, which is a mixing section, through respective shutoff valve 26 and flow adjusting valve 28, thereby producing a polishing solution of a given ratio inside the buffer tube 18.

The buffer tube 18 acting as the mixing section, in this embodiment, is disposed in a path of the circulation pipe 20 that supplies a polishing solution to a plurality of polishing apparatuses 22. The buffer tube 18 is a cylindrical container 30 of a diameter larger than that for the circulation pipe 20, and is disposed vertically, and has a discharge opening 32 at the bottom section, and the top section is covered by a lid 36 with an O-ring 34. A return pipe for the circulation pipe 20 and supply pipes 14, 16 for the undiluted solution and the dilution solution are connected to the buffer tube 18 at its top.

The container 30 is provided with liquid level sensors 40a, 40b and 40c for detecting the upper, lower and lowermost levels, for example, and output respective signals to a controller (not shown). The controller outputs control signals to a shutoff valve 26 and a flow adjusting valve 28, so that the undiluted solution and the dilution solution will be supplied when the liquid level drops or the supply will be stopped when the liquid level reaches the upper level. If the liquid level should reach the lowermost level, the controller generates a warning signal or a stop signal for the polishing unit 22.

Circulation pipe 20 is constructed such that the solution exits from the discharge opening 32 at the bottom of the buffer tube 18, and circulates near one or more polishing unit 22 for supplying polishing solution and return to the buffer tube 18 through the return pipe. Circulation pipe 20 is provided with a circulation pump 46 for circulating the polishing solution, a one-way valve(check valve) 48 for preventing a reverse flow, and a pressure sensor 50 and the like. Output signal from the pressure sensor is input in the controller, and the controller controls the operation of the circulation pump 46 according to the output signals of the pressure sensor so as to maintain the internal pressure in the circulation pipe 20 at a constant value. Circulation pipe 20 is branched into delivery pipes 24 in a proximity of each polishing unit 22 to deliver the polishing solution, and each delivery pipe 24 is connected, through a shutoff valve 52 and an adjustable flow pump 54, to a spray nozzle 56 directed at a certain location of each polishing unit 22.

Accordingly, by circulating the polishing solution at all times inside the piping to guide the solution to the neighborhood of the polishing unit 22, changes in solution concentration and line plugging caused by precipitated solid clusters from a stagnating polishing solution can be eliminated. Also, because the arrangement of the supply device permits the use of a long length of circulation piping, one supply source (mixing section) 18 can be used to supply a polishing solution, in a stable condition, and the cost of the overall facility can be reduced. Because each polishing unit 22 has its own working schedule, the polishing solution may become stagnant in some delivery pipes 24 in which the flow is stopped, but any adverse effects of stagnation can be eliminated by flowing a sufficient quantity of polishing solution to replace the stagnant liquid in the delivery pipes at the beginning of each operation.

Next, the effect of ultrasonic vibration applied to the solution on the abrading particles or polishing qualities will be described with reference to Figures 2A through 4.

Figures 2A through 2C show an example of changes in the particle size distribution when vibrations are applied over a period of time. The stirrer 70 was operated for 30 minutes to produce a distribution of average particle size 51.7 µm, and a standard deviation 49.7 µm, as shown in Figure 2A. After 10 minutes of ultrasonic vibration applied to the solution, average particle size 0.29 µm and a standard deviation 2.73 µm were obtained, as shown in Figure 2B. After processing of ultrasonic vibration applied to the solution for 60 minutes, average particle size 0.15 µm and a standard deviation 0.029 µm were obtained, as shown in Figure 2C. When vibration was applied longer than 60 minutes, further changes beyond those shown in Figure 2C were not observed.

Figures 3A through 3C show changes in a particle size distribution observed when the vibrated solution was left standing. Figure 3A shows the change after 120 minutes of standing, Figure 3B shows the change after one day of standing, and Figure 3C shows the change after six days of standing. The results indicated that the solution retains a fine particle size distribution for a considerable length of time after ultrasonic vibration is applied.

Figure 4 shows a comparison of polishing performance of the solutions treated without ultrasonic vibrations and with ultrasonic vibrations, and a comparison with commercial polishing solution containing silica powder. The results show that polishing rate is increased when ultrasonic vibrations are applied because the particles become finely dispersed. The results also show that the polishing rates of a test slurry subjected to vibrations are about the same for commercial polishing slurry. The results observed in Figures 2A through 4 regarding the effects of ultrasonic vibration treatment on the particle size distribution and polishing capability, were applied to the polishing solution supply apparatus in this embodiment.

The operation of the polishing solution supply apparatus will be explained below. The stock tank 10 is opened by lifting the lid, and a silica powder and given quantities of polishing liquids such as KOH, NH4OH are added and stirred with the stirrer 70 to disperse the abrading (silica) particles. Concurrently with stirring or after stirring for a given time, the ultrasonic vibrator 72 is operated for a given interval. This step disperses clustered powder particles that exhibited a relatively wide range of particle sizes, and produces a particle size distribution centered about a narrow range of fine particle sizes. The processing interval and frequency of application of ultrasonic vibration are governed by the scale of the tanks. For example, ultrasonic vibration may be carried out in a regular pattern, for example, for two minutes continuously over a period of sixty minutes or five minutes continuously over a period of thirty minutes.

Next, by operating the undiluted solution supply pump 28 and dilution pump 28 are operated to produce a polishing solution of a given mixture ratio. The control device controls the circulation pump 46 so that the downstream pressure is maintained above a certain value, and generate a steady circulating flow of polishing solution in the circulation passage 20.

When the individual polishing apparatuses 22 are operated, a portion of the polishing solution is delivered through the respective delivery pipes 24 into the nozzles 56 of the respective polishing apparatuses 22. When the solution level inside the buffer tube 18 becomes lower than the lower limit, the level sensor 40b sends a signal to the control device to open the valve 26, thereby the undiluted solution and pure water, whose flow rates are controlled by the flow control valves 26, are supplied to the buffer tube 18 at a constant mixing ratio, until the liquid level reaches the upper limit. In this step, because the undiluted solution has been treated by ultrasonic vibration for a given length of time in the stock tank 10, silica is less likely to aggregate.

Figure 5 shows another embodiment, in which the ultrasonic vibrators are provided at various locations in the supply passage. For example, vibrators 72a, 72b, 72c, 72d of suitable sizes and shapes are applied at one or more locations including the mixing section (buffer tube) 18 for the undiluted solution and dilution solution, circulation pipe 20, near the nozzle 56, and on the turntable 23.

Figures 6A through 6C show details of attaching the vibrators 72a, 72b, 72c, 72d. As shown in each diagram, the vibrators 72a through 72d comprise ultrasonic elements 74a through 74d and ultrasonic oscillators 76a through 76d. Figure 6A shows an installation of the vibrators 72a on the bottom section of the buffer tube 18. Vibrator 72b is similarly disposed about the circulation pipe 20. Figure 6B shows the vibrator 72c installed near the tip of the nozzle 56 which directs polishing solution onto the turntable 23. Vibrators 72a through 72c can be installed in any suitable place on the buffer tube 18 and each piping.

Figure 6C shows a cross sectional view of the ultrasonic vibrator 72d imbedded in the turntable 23. The vibrator 72d is imbedded near the center of the abrading surface of the turntable underneath the polishing pad 78. In this embodiment, the vibrator is imbedded near the center, but the location of the vibrator 72d may be underneath and off-center near the location of supply of solution on the turntable, or near the pressing point for polishing the wafer.

In these embodiments, the solution can be supplied on the apparatus 22 in a well dispersed state, because the point of solution delivery is a downstream location of the solution flow, or close to the location where the solution is actually being applied to the wafer. Also, even when the polishing apparatuses 22 are stopped and the solution flow rate drops or the solution becomes stagnant, particle clustering is less likely to occur. In this embodiment, additional ultrasonic vibrations are applied to locations other than the stock tank, so that, compared with the case of applying the ultrasonic vibrations only at the stock tank, clustering can be prevented even if the size of the apparatus for supplying the polishing solution is increased.

As explained above, a polishing solution having a constant distribution of polishing particle size can be delivered to polishing apparatuses by dispersing the agglomerated powder particles by subjecting the solution to ultrasonic vibration. It follows that polishing can be performed in a stable manner by preventing surface scratches caused by aggregated power particles, or changes of polishing rate caused by changes in the particle concentration.


Anspruch[de]
  1. Vorrichtung zum Liefern einer Polierlösung an eine Poliervorrichtung (22), wobei die Vorrichtung Folgendes aufweist:
    • einen Zirkulationsdurchlass (20) zum Zirkulieren der Polierlösung;
    • einen Lieferdurchlass (24), der sich von dem Zirkulationsdurchlass (20) zu der Poliervorrichtung (22) erstreckt; und
    • einen Mischabschnitt (18), der in dem Zirkulationsdurchlass (20) angeordnet ist, zum Mischen einer unverdünnten Lösung und einer Verdünnungslösung zum Einstellen einer Polierlösungskonzentration; dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass mehr als ein Ultraschallvibrator (72) vorgesehen ist, und zwar an mehr als einem Ort ausgewählt aus dem Zirkulationsdurchlass (20), dem Lieferdurchlass (24), dem Mischabschnitt (18) und einem Lagertank (10) zum Lagern einer unverdünnten Lösung.
  2. Vorrichtung nach Anspruch 1, wobei ein Ultraschallvibrator (72) in dem Lagertank (10) zum Lagern einer unverdünnten Lösung vorgesehen ist.
  3. Vorrichtung nach Anspruch 1 oder 2, wobei ein Ultraschallvibrator (72b) an dem Zirkulationsdurchlass (20) vorgesehen ist.
  4. Vorrichtung nach einem der Ansprüche 1 bis 3, wobei ein Ultraschallvibrator (72c) an dem Lieferdurchlass (24) vorgesehen ist.
  5. Vorrichtung nach einem der Ansprüche 1 bis 4, wobei ein Ultraschallvibrator (72a) in dem Mischabschnitt (18) vorgesehen ist.
  6. Vorrichtung nach einem der vorhergehenden Ansprüche, wobei die Vorrichtung ferner einen Verdünnungstank (12) zum Liefern einer Verdünnungslösung aufweist.
  7. Poliervorrichtung (22) nach einem der vorhergehenden Ansprüche, wobei die Poliervorrichtung (22) ferner Folgendes aufweist:
    • eine Halteeinrichtung zum Halten eines zu polierenden Gegenstandes;
    • ein Polierwerkzeug (76, 78), das der Halteeinrichtung gegenüberliegt; und
    • eine Spraydüse (56) zum Einführen einer Polierlösung an einer Schnittstelle zwischen dem zu polierenden Gegenstand und dem Polierwerkzeug (76, 78).
  8. Poliervorrichtung nach Anspruch 7, wobei ein Ultraschallvibrator (72d) an Teilen der Halteeinrichtung und/oder dem Polierwerkzeug (76, 78), das die Polierlösung hält, angebracht ist.
  9. Vorrichtung zum Liefern einer Polierlösung an eine Poliervorrichtung (22), wobei die Vorrichtung Folgendes aufweist:
    • einen Zirkulationsdurchlass (20) zum Zirkulieren der Polierlösung;
    • einen Lieferdurchlass (24), der sich von dem Zirkulationsdurchlass (20) zu der Poliervorrichtung (22) erstreckt; und
    • einen Mischabschnitt (18), der in dem Zirkulationsdurchlass (20) angeordnet ist, zum Mischen einer unverdünnten Lösung und einer Verdünnungslösung zum Einstellen einer Polierlösungskonzentration; dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass ein Ultraschallvibrator (72) in einem Aufbewahrungs- bzw. Lagertank (10) zum Aufbewahren einer unverdünnten Lösung vorgesehen ist.
Anspruch[en]
  1. An apparatus for delivering a polishing solution to a polishing apparatus (22), said apparatus comprising:
    • a circulation passage (20) for circulating the polishing solution
    • a delivery passage (24) extending from the circulation passage (20) to the polishing apparatus (22); and
    • a mixing section (18) disposed in said circulation passage (20) for mixing an undiluted solution and a dilution solution for adjusting a polishing solution concentration;
       characterised in that more than one ultrasonic vibrator (72) is provided in more than one location of the circulation passage (20), the delivery passage (24), the mixing section (18) and a stock tank (10) for storing an undiluted solution.
  2. An apparatus according to claim 1, wherein an ultrasonic vibrator (72) is provided in the stock tank (10) for storing an undiluted solution.
  3. An apparatus according to claim 1 or 2, wherein an ultrasonic vibrator (72b) is provided on the circulation passage (20).
  4. An apparatus according to one of claims 1 to 3, wherein an ultrasonic vibrator (72c) is provided on the delivery passage (24).
  5. An apparatus according to one of claims 1 to 4, wherein an ultrasonic vibrator (72a) is provided in the mixing section (18).
  6. An apparatus as set forth in any one of the preceding claims, further comprising a dilution tank (12) for delivering a dilution solution.
  7. A polishing apparatus (22) including an apparatus as set forth in one of the preceding claims, wherein said polishing apparatus (22) further comprises:
    • a holding device for holding an object to be polished;
    • a polishing tool (76,78) opposing the holding device; and
    • a spray nozzle (56) for introducing a polishing solution at an interface between the object to be polished and the polishing tool (76,78).
  8. A polishing apparatus as set forth in claim 7, wherein
    • an ultrasonic vibrator (72d) is provided on parts of the holding device and/or the polishing tool (76,78) that retain the polishing solution.
  9. An apparatus for delivering a polishing solution to a polishing apparatus (22), said apparatus comprising:
    • a circulation passage (20) for circulating the polishing solution
    • a delivery passage (24) extending from the circulation passage (20) to the polishing apparatus (22); and
    • a mixing section (18) disposed in said circulation passage (20) for mixing an undiluted solution and a dilution solution for adjusting a polishing solution concentration;
       characterised in that an ultrasonic vibrator (72) is provided in a stock tank (10) for storing an undiluted solution.
Anspruch[fr]
  1. Appareil de fourniture de solution de polissage à un appareil de polissage (22), ledit appareil comprenant :
    • un passage de circulation (30) pour la mise en circulation de la solution de polissage,
    • un passage de distribution (24) s'étendant entre le passage de circulation (20) et l'appareil de polissage (22) ; et
    • une section de mélange (18) disposée dans ledit passage de circulation (20) pour mélanger une solution non diluée et une solution de dilution pour régler une concentration de la solution de polissage ;
       caractérisé en ce qu'un vibreur à ultrasons (72) est prévu dans plus d'un seul endroit du passage de circulation (20), du passage de distribution (24), de la section de mélange (18) et d'un réservoir de stockage (10) destiné à une solution non diluée.
  2. Appareil selon la revendication 1, dans lequel un vibreur à ultrasons (72) est prévu dans le réservoir de stockage (10) destiné à une solution non diluée.
  3. Appareil selon la revendication 1 ou 2, dans lequel un vibreur à ultrasons (72b) est prévu sur le passage de circulation (20).
  4. Appareil selon l'une des revendications 1 à 3, dans lequel un vibreur à ultrasons (72c) est prévu sur le passage de distribution (24).
  5. Appareil selon l'une des revendications 1 à 4, dans lequel un vibreur à ultrasons (72a) est prévu dans la section de mélange (18).
  6. Appareil selon l'une quelconque des revendications précédentes, comprenant en outre un réservoir de dilution (12) pour la fourniture d'une solution de dilution.
  7. Appareil de polissage (22) contenant un appareil selon l'une des revendications précédentes, dans lequel ledit appareil de polissage (22) comprend en outre :
    • un dispositif de fixation permettant de fixer un objet à polir ;
    • un outil de polissage (76, 78) faisant face au dispositif de fixation; et
    • une buse d'aspersion (56) pour introduire une solution de polissage suivant une interface entre l'objet à polir et l'outil de polissage (76, 78).
  8. Appareil de polissage tel que stipulé dans la revendication 7, dans lequel
    • un vibreur à ultrasons (72d) est prévu sur des parties du dispositif de fixation et/ou l'outil de polissage (76, 78) retenant la solution de polissage.
  9. Appareil de distribution d'une solution de polissage vers un appareil de polissage (22), ledit appareil comprenant :
    • un passage de circulation (30) pour la mise en circulation de la solution de polissage,
    • un passage de distribution (24) s'étendant entre le passage de circulation (20) et l'appareil de polissage (22) ; et
    • une section de mélange (18) disposée dans ledit passage de circulation (20) pour mélanger une solution non diluée et une solution de dilution pour régler une concentration de solution de polissage ;
       caractérisé en ce qu'un vibreur à ultrasons (72) est prévu dans un réservoir de stockage (10) destiné à une solution non diluée.






IPC
A Täglicher Lebensbedarf
B Arbeitsverfahren; Transportieren
C Chemie; Hüttenwesen
D Textilien; Papier
E Bauwesen; Erdbohren; Bergbau
F Maschinenbau; Beleuchtung; Heizung; Waffen; Sprengen
G Physik
H Elektrotechnik

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