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Dokumentenidentifikation EP0787981 27.01.2005
EP-Veröffentlichungsnummer 0000787981
Titel Verfahren zur Messung von Verunreinigungen
Anmelder Kabushiki Kaisha Toshiba, Tokio/Tokyo, JP
Erfinder Maeda, Ayako, 1-1 Shibaura 1-chome, Tokyo 105, JP;
Yoshii, Shintaro, 1-1 Shibaura 1-chome, Tokyo 105, JP;
Kageyama, Mokuji, 1-1 Shibaura 1-chome, Tokyo 105, JP;
Ogino, Masanobu, 1-1 Shibaura 1-chome, Tokyo 105, JP
Vertreter Henkel, Feiler & Hänzel, 81675 München
DE-Aktenzeichen 68929525
Vertragsstaaten DE, FR, GB
Sprache des Dokument EN
EP-Anmeldetag 19.04.1989
EP-Aktenzeichen 971059316
EP-Offenlegungsdatum 06.08.1997
EP date of grant 22.12.2004
Veröffentlichungstag im Patentblatt 27.01.2005
IPC-Hauptklasse G01N 1/02
IPC-Nebenklasse G01N 31/00   

Beschreibung[en]

The present invention relates to an impurity measuring method and apparatus for measuring the kind of element and content of an impurity adsorbed on the surface of an object to be measured, especially, a semiconductor wafer.

It is well known that when an impurity such as sodium (Na), potassium (K) or iron (Fe) is contained in a thin film of, e.g., an oxide film formed on a semiconductor wafer, electrical characteristics of a semiconductor device are significantly adversely affected even if an content of the impurity is very small. Therefore, in order to improve the electrical characteristics of the semiconductor device, diffusing of the impurity from the wafer surface must be reduced as small as possible. For this purpose, a level of contamination on the wafer surface must be correctly analyzed and measured.

The level of contamination on the wafer surface is conventionally measured by using secondary ion mass spectrometry, Auger spectroscopic analysis or neutron activation analysis. Since these methods require a large-scale, expensive measuring instrument, an analysis cost is increased. In addition, a skill is required in an analyzing operation. Also, since each analyzing method uses an electron or light beam, local analysis can be performed, but the gross content of contamination on the overall surface cannot be estimated.

For this reason, in place of the above instrumental analyzing methods, a method of easily measuring the content of contamination on the overall surface of a substrate wafer is proposed. In this method, an oxide film of a predetermined thickness with an impurity included therein is formed beforehand on the surface of a substrate and dissolved by using a hydrofluoric acid vapor, and the resultant solution is recovered to measure an impurity by using a spectroscopic analyzer. This method is called vapor phase decomposition method. This method, however, requires an oxide film formation step. In this oxide film formation step, an impurity is diffused from an oxidation atmosphere into an oxide film, the impurity evaporates from the wafer surface into the oxidation atmosphere, the impurity is diffused from the wafer surface into the substrate or the impurity contained in the substrate is diffused into the oxide film. For this reason, this method is undesirable in terms of reliability in analysis values.

In another conventional method, without forming an oxide film on the surface of a substrate by an oxidation step, the overall substrate is dipped in a hydrofluoric acid solution to dissolve a native oxide film naturally formed on the substrate surface, and the resultant solution is recovered to measure an impurity content by using a spectroscopic analyzer. In this method, however, since an extremely large volume of the hydrofluoric acid solution is required for recovering the impurity by dipping a whole wafer, the concentration of the impurity contained in the solution is significantly decreased, and therefore analysis sensitivity and precision are degraded. In addition, according to this method, the hydrofluoric acid solution is contaminated by the impurity adhered on a vessel with very high probability. Furthermore, the back side surface of the wafer is contaminated.

An impurity recovering and measuring method was published by the "Semiconductor Research Center of Kyushu Electronic Metal (Kabushiki Kaisha)" at the "2nd Japan-Korea Joint Symposium on Analytical Chemistry" held on October 14 to 16, 1987 in Kumamoto (published by "Japan Analytical Chemistry Academy"). Said method comprises dissolving the natural oxide film which resides on the surface of a wafer using HF vapor whereby the liquid droplets obtained by the decomposition remain on the surface of the wafer. In the case of large-sized decomposition liquid droplets, they are collected directly by a micro-pipet, or in the case where large-sized droplets are not formed, a certain amount of ultra-pure water is added to gather all the droplets, which are then collected by a micro-pipet. Then, in each case, the amount of the collected liquid is measured and analysed by a flameless atomic adsorption spectrophotometric analyser.

It is an object of the present invention to provide an impurity measuring method and apparatus which can measure an content of an impurity adsorbed on the surface of an object to be measured with high sensitivity and precision and which realizes a low analysis cost and high reliability.

This object is achieved by the invention as defined in claims 1 to 11.

According to the measuring method of the present invention, a solution is dropped, and the solution drop is moved in contact with the surface of an object to be measured, thereby recovering an impurity present on the surface of the object to be measured into the drop.

The above drop is not brought into contact with anything but the surface of the object to be measured and has a proper volume and a sufficient impurity concentration. Therefore, highly reliable measurement can be performed with high sensitivity and precision.

According to the measuring apparatus of the present invention, the drive mechanism moves a solution dropped on the surface of an object to be measured so that the solution drop can be brought into contact with the overall surface of the object to the measured.

According to the present invention, there is provided an impurity measuring method and apparatus which can measure an impurity adsorbed on the surface of an object to be measured with high sensitivity and precision and which realizes a low measuring cost and high reliability.

This invention can be more fully understood from the following detailed description when taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, in which:

  • Fig. 1 is a front view showing an arrangement of a vessel used for carrying out a method according to a first embodiment of the present invention;
  • Figs. 2 and 3A to 3C are sectional views for explaining the method of the first embodiment;
  • Figs. 4 and 5 are views showing a locus of a solution drop in the method of the first embodiment, respectively;
  • Fig. 6 is a sectional view showing a method according to a second embodiment of the present invention;
  • Figs. 7 to 9 are sectional views showing modifications of the method of the second embodiment; and
  • Fig. 10 is a view showing an arrangement of an apparatus used in the present invention.

Embodiments of the present invention will be described in detail below with reference to the accompanying drawings.

A closed vessel 10 having a structure as shown in a front view of Fig. 1 is prepared. A plurality of wafer holding tables 11 are set in the closed vessel 10 with predetermined vertical intervals therebetween. A recess portion 12 having the same shape as that of a semiconductor wafer is formed in each wafer holding table 11 to receive the wafer. A groove portion 13 is formed in a bottom portion of the vessel 10 to contain a solution.

After a silicon semiconductor wafer 14 is inserted as an object to be measured in the recess portion 12 of each wafer holding table 11, the table 11 is set at a predetermined position of the vessel 10, and a hydrofluoric acid (HF) solution 15 is filled as a solution in the groove portion 13 formed in the bottom portion. Note that a native oxide film 16 is formed on the surface of each wafer 14. Thereafter, the vessel 10 is closed by a cover (not shown) and kept at room temperature for about 30 minutes. As a result, the hydrofluoric acid solution 15 evaporates, and the closed vessel is filled with a vapor of the hydrofluoric acid. The native oxide film 16 formed on the surface of each wafer is brought into contact with and dissolved by the hydrofluoric acid vapor, and a small volume of the solution adsorbs on the wafer surface.

The wafer 14 treated as described above is extracted together with the wafer holding table 11 from the closed vessel 10. As shown in a sectional view of Fig. 2, a drop 17 (50 to 200 µ&litre;) of a hydrofluoric acid solution having a concentration of 0.5% to 2% is dropped on the surface of the wafer 14 by a micropippet. A high-purity hydrofluoric acid solution having an impurity concentration of 100 ppt or less was used as the solution drop 17. At this time, since the wafer 14 has become hydrophobic by the above treatment using the hydrofluoric acid vapor, the drop 17 does not wet the wafer surface, leaving a round droplet on the surface as shown in Fig. 2.

Thereafter, as shown in Figs. 3A, 3B and 3C, the wafer 14 and the wafer holding table 11 are inclined or rotated in various directions to scan and move the drop on the overall surface of the wafer so that a locus of the drop becomes spiral as shown in Fig. 4. Alternatively, the drop is scanned and moved on the overall surface of the wafer so that a locus of the drop continuously repeats U-turns as shown in Fig. 5. In this manner, the solution in which the native oxide film adsorbed on the wafer surface is dissolved is recovered by the drop of the hydrofluoric acid solution dropped on the wafer surface.

The drop in which the solution is recovered is then sampled by a pipette or the like and analyzed by chemical analysis using a spectroscopic analyzer, thereby determining a level of contamination of the wafer. Note that dissolution of the native oxide film on the wafer surface and dropping and moving of the hydrofluoric acid solution were performed by using a glove box having a 0.3-µm ULPA filter and a cleanness of class 10 or less.

According to the method of the above embodiment, a measurement cost is decreased because no expensive measuring instrument is required. In addition, an volume of the hydrofluoric acid solution containing the native oxide film formed on the wafer surface can be decreased much smaller than that in the case wherein the wafer is dipped in the hydrofluoric acid solution. For example, in order to dip the wafer in the hydrofluoric acid solution to dissolve the native oxide film, about 5 m&litre; of the hydrofluoric acid solution are required. In the method of the above embodiment, however, only about 100 µ&litre; of the solution are needed for dropping. For this reason, an impurity concentration in the solution becomes 50 times that in the conventional method. Furthermore, the recovered solution drop is not brought into contact with anything but the wafer surface, and only the native oxide film containing the impurity on the wafer surface is dissolved therein. Therefore, since the drop has a proper volume and a sufficient impurity concentration and no external impurity contamination occurs, highly reliable measurement can be performed with high sensitivity and precision. As a result, an impurity of about 109 to 1010 (atoms/cm2) on the wafer surface can be rapidly and easily measured without an oxidation step.

A second embodiment of the present invention will be described below.

In the method according to the second embodiment, as in the method of the first embodiment, a native oxide film formed on the surface of a wafer is dissolved by a treatment using a vapor of a hydrofluoric acid solution.

Thereafter, as shown in a sectional view of Fig. 6, a wafer 14 is brought into contact with a jig 20 having a recess portion. The wafer 14 is brought into contact with the jig 20 by evacuating the jig 20 through a tube 21 formed in the jig 20 and chucked from the back side surface of the wafer 14. In Fig. 6, solutions 22 in which a native oxide film is dissolved adsorbed on the surface of the wafer 14.

A drop 23 (50 to 200 µ&litre;) of a hydrofluoric acid solution having a concentration of 0.5% to 2% is dropped by a micropipette or the like at an end portion of the surface of the wafer in contact with the jig 20. A high-purity hydrofluoric acid solution having an impurity concentration of 100 ppt or less was used as the solution drop 23. At this time, since the wafer 14 has become hydrophobic by the above treatment using the hydrofluoric acid vapor, the drop 23 does not wet the wafer surface, leaving a round droplet on the surface as shown in Fig. 6.

Thereafter, as shown in Fig. 6, the jig 20 is rotated about its center in a horizontal plane. A rotational speed is about 5 to 40 rpm. As a result, the drop 23 of the hydrofluoric acid solution dropped at the end portion of the wafer surface is moved by a centrifugal force and the gravity while it recovers the solutions 22 adsorbed on the wafer 14. In this manner, the solutions 22 adsorbed on the wafer surface are recovered.

Thereafter, as in the first embodiment, the drop 23 which recovered the solutions is sampled by a pipette or the like and analyzed by chemical analysis using a spectroscopic analyzer to measure the kind of element and content of the impurity, thereby determining a level of contamination of the wafer.

Also in the method of the second embodiment, a measurement cost is decreased because no expensive measuring instrument is required. In addition, since the solution drop has a proper volume and a sufficient impurity concentration and no external impurity contamination occurs, highly reliable measurement can be performed with high sensitivity and precision.

As a modification of the method of the second embodiment shown in Fig. 6, a wafer 14 may be rotated by inclining a rotational axis without using a jig having a recess portion, as shown in Fig. 7, thereby scanning and moving a drop 23 on a wafer surface. In the methods shown in Figs. 6 and 7, since no pipette-like jig or the like is used, mixing of an impurity from such a jig can be prevented.

As another modification of the method of the second embodiment shown in Fig. 6, a drop 23 may be brought into contact with a wafer surface while it is supported by a pipette-like jig 24, as shown in a sectional view of Fig. 8. Thereafter, a wafer 14 is rotated and at the same time the drop 23 supported by the jig 24 is horizontally moved as shown in Fig. 8, thereby recovering solutions 22 adsorbed on the wafer surface.

As still another modification of the method of the second embodiment shown in Fig. 6, a wafer 14 may be supported so that its surface faces down so as to bring a drop 23 supported on a plate-like jig 25 into contact with the wafer surface, as shown in Fig. 9. Thereafter, the wafer 14 is rotated and at the same time the drop 23 supported by the jig 25 is horizontally moved as shown in Fig. 9, thereby recovering solutions 22 adsorbed on the wafer surface.

In the method wherein a drop is dropped on a wafer and then the wafer is moved to recover solutions on the wafer surface as shown in Fig. 3 or 7, an analyzing vessel 30 capable of housing a plurality of wafers 14 and a drive mechanism 40 for moving the vessel 30 may be used as shown in a sectional view of Fig. 10, thereby increasing a recovery efficiency. In such an apparatus, without using the analyzing vessel 30, a wafer holding table which houses one wafer may be moved by the drive mechanism 40 to recover solutions along the locus as described above.

Examples of the solution having are:

  • (1) HF
  • (2) HF + HNO3
  • (3) HF + H202
  • (4) HC&litre; + H2O2

The present invention is not limited to the above embodiments but can be variously modified. For example, in the above embodiments, the present invention is applied to measurement of an impurity on the surface of a semiconductor wafer. The present invention, however, can be applied to, e.g., measurement of an impurity in a silicon oxide or silicon nitride film, or general measurement of a level of contamination on the surface of a metal. In addition, the kind of a solution for dissolving a deposition layer on the surface of an object to be measured can be arbitrarily selected in accordance with the kind of object material. Furthermore, if the surface of an object to be measured is hydrophobic with respect to a drop to be dropped next, a step of rendering the surface hydrophobic by using a vapor of a solution need not be performed.


Anspruch[de]
  1. Verfahren zur Messung von Verunreinigungen, das die Stufen:
    • Inkontaktbringen eines Tropfens einer Lösung mit einer Oberfläche eines Objekts, wobei die Oberfläche des Objekts gegenüber dem Tropfen hydrophob ist,
    • Bewegen des Tropfens relativ zu dem Objekt, während der Tropfen in Kontakt mit der Oberfläche des Objekts gehalten wird,
    • Rückgewinnen des Tropfens nach dem Bewegen und
    • Analysieren des rückgewonnenen Tropfens durch chemische Analyse zur Ermittlung einer von der Oberfläche des Objekts entfernten Verunreinigung, umfasst.
  2. Verfahren nach Anspruch 1, das ferner die Stufe des Auflösens eines auf der Oberfläche des Objekts gebildeten Films vor der Stufe des Inkontaktbringens des Tropfens mit der Oberfläche durch Durchführen einer Reaktion des Films mit Fluorwasserstoff (HF) enthaltendem Dampf umfasst, wobei das Objekt ein Siliciumhalbleiterwafer ist.
  3. Verfahren nach Anspruch 2, wobei der Film ein Oxidfilm ist.
  4. Verfahren nach Anspruch 1, wobei der Tropfen Säure enthält.
  5. Verfahren nach Anspruch 1, wobei der Tropfen von einer pipettenähnlichen Haltevorrichtung gehalten wird und der von einer pipettenähnlichen Haltevorrichtung gehaltene Tropfen horizontal bewegt und das Objekt gleichzeitig rotiert wird, wodurch der Tropfen relativ zu dem Objekt bewegt wird.
  6. Verfahren nach Anspruch 5, wobei der Tropfen von einer plattenähnlichen Haltevorrichtung gehalten wird und mit der Oberfläche des Objekts in Kontakt gebracht wird, wobei das Objekt derart gestützt wird, dass die Oberfläche desselben nach unten weist.
  7. Verfahren nach Anspruch 1, wobei der Tropfen oder das Objekt oder sowohl der Tropfen als auch das Objekt bewegt werden, wodurch der Tropfen relativ zu dem Objekt bewegt wird.
  8. Verfahren nach Anspruch 1, wobei, wenn der Tropfen relativ zu dem Objekt bewegt wird, während der Tropfen in Kontakt mit der Oberfläche des Objekts gehalten wird, die Spur des Tropfens linear oder spiralförmig ist.
  9. Verfahren nach Anspruch 1, wobei das Objekt in rotierender Weise bewegt wird, wodurch der Tropfen relativ zum Objekt bewegt wird.
  10. Verfahren nach Anspruch 1, wobei das Objekt in festen Kontakt mit einer Haltevorrichtung mit einem Ausnehmungsteil durch Evakuieren der Haltevorrichtung gebracht wird und um die Mitte der Haltevorrichtung in einer horizontalen Ebene rotiert wird, wodurch der Tropfen durch die Zentrifugalkraft und die Schwerkraft relativ zum Objekt bewegt wird.
  11. Verfahren nach Anspruch 1, wobei das Objekt um eine in Bezug auf die horizontale Ebene geneigte Rotationsachse rotiert wird, wodurch der Tropfen relativ zum Objekt bewegt wird.
Anspruch[en]
  1. An impurity measuring method comprising the steps of:
    • bringing a drop of a solution into contact with a surface of an object, the surface of the object being hydrophobic to the drop;
    • moving the drop relative to the object while keeping the drop in contact with the surface of the object,
    • recovering the drop after the movement and
    • analyzing the recovered drop by chemical analysis to measure an impurity taken away from the surface of the object.
  2. A method according to claim 1 further comprising the step of dissolving a film formed on the surface of the object before the step of bringing the drop into contact with the surface by making the film react with vapor containing hydrogen fluoride (HF), the object being a silicon semiconductor wafer.
  3. A method according to claim 2, wherein the film is an oxide film.
  4. A method according to claim 1, wherein the drop contains acid.
  5. A method according to claim 1, wherein the drop is held by a pipette-like jig, and said drop held by a pipette-like jig is horizontally moved and the object is rotated at the same time, whereby the drop is moved relative to the object.
  6. A method according to claim 5, wherein the drop is held by a plate-like jig, and brought into contact with the surface of the object, with the object supported such that the surface thereof faces downwards.
  7. A method according to claim 1, wherein one of the drop and the object or both the drop and the object are moved, whereby the drop is moved relative to the object.
  8. A method according to claim 1, wherein when the drop is moved relative to the object while keeping the drop in contact with the surface of the object, a trace of the drop is linear or spiral shaped.
  9. A method according to claim 1, wherein the object is moved in one of a rotational manner, thereby moving the drop relative to the object.
  10. A method according to claim 1, wherein the object is brought into tight contact with a jig having a recess portion by evacuating the jig, and rotated about a center of the jig in a horizontal plane, thereby moving the drop, by centrifugal force and gravity, relative to the object.
  11. A method according to claim 1, wherein the object is rotated about a rotational axis inclined with respect to a horizontal plane, thereby moving the drop relative to the object.
Anspruch[fr]
  1. Procédé de mesure des impuretés, comprenant les étapes consistant à :
    • amener une goutte d'une solution en contact avec une surface d'un objet, la surface de l'objet étant hydrophobe par rapport à la goutte ;
    • déplacer la goutte par rapport à l'objet tout en maintenant la goutte en contact avec la surface de l'objet,
    • récupérer la goutte après le déplacement et
    • analyser la goutte récupérée grâce à une analyse chimique pour mesurer une impureté enlevée de la surface de l'objet.
  2. Procédé selon la revendication 1, comprenant en outre l'étape consistant à dissoudre un film formé sur la surface de l'objet avant l'étape consistant à amener la goutte en contact avec la surface en faisant réagir le film avec de la vapeur contenant du fluorure d'hydrogène (HF), l'objet étant une tranche de semi-conducteur en silicium.
  3. Procédé selon la revendication 2, dans lequel le film est un film d'oxyde.
  4. Procédé selon la revendication 1, dans lequel la goutte contient de l'acide.
  5. Procédé selon la revendication 1, dans lequel la goutte est maintenue à l'aide d'un gabarit de type pipette et ladite goutte maintenue à l'aide d'un gabarit de type pipette est déplacée horizontalement et l'objet est tourné en même temps, moyennant quoi la goutte est déplacée par rapport à l'objet.
  6. Procédé selon la revendication 5, dans lequel la goutte est maintenue à l'aide d'un gabarit de type plaque, et mise en contact avec la surface de l'objet, l'objet étant soutenu de telle sorte que la surface de celui-ci soit orientée vers le bas.
  7. Procédé selon la revendication 1, dans lequel l'un de la goutte et de l'objet ou la goutte et l'objet à la fois sont déplacés, moyennant quoi la goutte est déplacée par rapport à l'objet.
  8. Procédé selon la revendication 1, dans lequel lorsque la goutte est déplacée par rapport à l'objet tout en maintenant la goutte en contact avec la surface de l'objet, une trace de la goutte a une forme linéaire ou en spirale.
  9. Procédé selon la revendication 1, dans lequel l'objet est déplacé selon l'une des manières de rotation, déplaçant ainsi la goutte par rapport à l'objet.
  10. Procédé selon la revendication 1, dans lequel l'objet est mis en contact étroit avec un gabarit ayant une partie en retrait en évacuant le gabarit, et tourné autour d'un centre du gabarit sur un plan horizontal, déplaçant ainsi la goutte, par force centrifuge et par gravité, par rapport à l'objet.
  11. Procédé selon la revendication 1, dans lequel l'objet est tourné autour d'un axe de rotation incliné par rapport à un plan horizontal, déplaçant ainsi la goutte par rapport à l'objet.






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