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Quartz-crystal microbalance study for characterizing atomic oxygen in plasma ash tools

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2 Author(s)
Srivastava, A.K. ; Axcelis Technologies, Inc., 7600 Standish Place, Rockville, Maryland 20855 ; Sakthivel, P.

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This article discusses the measurement of atomic oxygen (AO) concentrations in an oxygen discharge using a quartz-crystal microbalance (QCM). This is a device that has been previously used for monitoring thin-film deposition, among several other applications. The sensor consists of a silver-coated quartz crystal that oscillates at its specific resonant frequency (typically, at about 6 MHz), which is dependent on the mass of the crystal. When exposed to AO, the silver oxidizes rapidly, resulting in a change in its mass, and a consequent change in this frequency. The frequency change is measured with a counter, and when plotted versus time, it may be fit to a standard diffusion-limited oxide-growth model. This model is then used to determine the specific AO flux to the crystal, and by inference, to the wafer. Initial results of QCM measurements in the FusionGemini Plasma Asher (GPL™-standard downstream microwave asher) and FusionGemini Enhanced Strip (GES™-fluorine compatible enhanced strip asher) are presented in this article. The results indicate AO densities of the order of 1012cm-3 on the wafer. There is a marked increase in AO concentration with addition of nitrogen into the plasma, and a decrease in AO concentration with increasing pressure at constant flow. Effects of increasing the total plasma volume in the enhanced strip tool on AO production are discussed. © 2001 American Vacuum Society.

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Journal of Vacuum Science & Technology A: Vacuum, Surfaces, and Films  (Volume:19 ,  Issue: 1 )