Silicon wafers play an important role in semiconductor devices, electronics, and even in several types of machinery and technologies. Without it, you and I wouldn't be able to experience the beauty and brilliance of digital technology. But before a silicon wafer is made available, it must first go through several processes, including wafer cleaning, to guarantee superior quality. In this article, we will explain to you the process of a wafer cleaning and its importance.
One of the biggest challenges encountered in the semiconductor manufacturing industry is surface contamination. Even mere exposure to air can contaminate a wafer’s surface. These unwanted particles or contaminants strongly adhere to the silicon wafer surface because of a strong electrostatic force.
For silicon wafers to function properly, it must be free from any unwanted particles or contaminants. But getting rid of them is not a simple task, especially because silicon wafers are fragile. This is why it’s important for silicon wafer manufacturers to develop a cleaning technique or plan that will help guarantee very clean wafer surfaces while preventing the risk of damage.
Solvent clean is the first part of the wafer cleaning process. It is used to get rid of oils or organic residues left on silicon wafer surfaces. And because solvents themselves leave residues on wafer surfaces; a two-solvent method is applied.
After the two-solvent method is applied, it’s time to clean the wafers again using RCA clean. RCA clean oxidizes the silicon wafer and gets rid of organic residues. It also provides a thin protective layer of oxide to the surface of the wafer.
HF dip is the final step needed to complete the wafer cleaning process. HF dip is used to remove silicon dioxide from silicon wafer surfaces.
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