XEI Scientific, maker of the Evactron Plasma Cleaning System for electron microscopes and other vacuum chambers, reports on its use for cleaning carbon decontamination using hydrogen.
A presentation by Dr Gabe Morgan at the SPIE Advanced Lithography meeting in early March showed that using atomic hydrogen created by the Evactron plasma is effective in cleaning carbon contamination from EUV optics.
For the semiconductor industry to continue making smaller features, lithographic systems are moving to shorter wavelengths such as EUV and the very elaborate and expensive optics required may be damaged by oxygen cleaning.
Using the Evactron Plasma Cleaning system with hydrogen gas has produced atomic hydrogen and been successful in removing hydrocarbon contamination from EUV mirrors.
Cleaning rates were seen in the nanometres-per-minute range and at distances of up to 30cm from the remote plasma source.
Work is continuing both at XEI and with selected partners in the field to optimise the system parameters for well-characterised and reliable downstream plasma cleaning for this solution for future semiconductor production.
XEI's rack-mounted models can be embedded into SEMs, FIBs and other electron-beam systems.
They remove carbon contamination such as hydrocarbons or atmospheric contamination.
All Evactron De-Contaminator (D-Cs) Systems use RF plasma to produce oxygen radicals that flow downstream through the chamber, removing contamination.
They are also safe for use on X-ray windows and are delivered with a free five-year limited warranty and factory repair service.