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This review paper focuses on the recent knowledge about airborne molecular contamination (AMC) and its impacts on 300-mm wafer fabrication processes. The adverse impacts on process materials by both organic and inorganic micro-contaminants, and evidence of cross-contamination between processed wafers and the mainstream wafer handling tools, are two areas of discussion for the study. The review also aims to re-frame the industrial guideline for AMC from chemical-based to risk-based approach, which substantiates the potential impacts of individual families of AMCs that have been well-documented. This approach resonates well with the new AMC classification method recently proposed by the International Roadmap of Devices and Systems (IRDS), building on new knowledge of AMC emerged over time with the advances of analytical and testing capability. The review also brings forth the impact of moisture, the mere presence of which can compromise the integrity of device structures. However, moisture is especially detrimental in the presence of other inorganic ions to trigger unwanted reactions with surface materials. Methods developed to minimize the micro-contaminants and moisture during wafer handling and storage are also reviewed.

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Originally published as:

Den, W., S.-C. Hu, C. Garza, O.A. Zargar (2020). “Airborne Molecular Contamination: Recent Developments in the Understanding and Minimization for Advanced Semiconductor Device Manufacturing,” ECS Journal of Solid State Science and Technology 9(6): 064003. DOI: 10.1149/2162-8777/aba080

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