|Publication number||US20050067098 A1|
|Application number||US 10/673,376|
|Publication date||Mar 31, 2005|
|Filing date||Sep 30, 2003|
|Priority date||Sep 30, 2003|
|Also published as||US8580075, US20120199288|
|Publication number||10673376, 673376, US 2005/0067098 A1, US 2005/067098 A1, US 20050067098 A1, US 20050067098A1, US 2005067098 A1, US 2005067098A1, US-A1-20050067098, US-A1-2005067098, US2005/0067098A1, US2005/067098A1, US20050067098 A1, US20050067098A1, US2005067098 A1, US2005067098A1|
|Inventors||John Hughes, Sandra Hyland, Ralph Kim|
|Original Assignee||Tokyo Electron Limited|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (11), Referenced by (1), Classifications (12), Legal Events (1)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
1. Field of the Invention
The present invention relates to a method and system for introducing an active material to a chemical process, and, more particularly, to a method and system for the introduction of the active material in order to tailor the chemical process for optimal performance.
2. Description of the Related Art
The fabrication of integrated circuits (IC) in the semiconductor industry typically employs plasmas to create and assist surface chemistry within a plasma reactor to remove material from and deposit material to a substrate. In general, plasmas are formed within the plasma reactor under vacuum conditions by heating electrons to energies sufficient to sustain ionizing collisions with a supplied process gas. Moreover, the heated electrons can have energy sufficient to sustain dissociative collisions. Therefore, a specific set of gases under predetermined conditions (e.g., chamber pressure, gas flow rate, etc.) are chosen to produce a population of charged species and chemically reactive species suitable to the particular process being performed within the chamber (e.g., etching processes where materials are removed from the substrate or deposition processes where materials are added to the substrate). While it is known that certain materials introduced into the processing chamber during the plasma process can affect or enhance the process performed in the chamber, the mechanisms for delivery of such materials into the process chamber are complex and expensive.
Although the formation of a population of charged species (ions, etc.) and chemically reactive species is necessary for performing the function of the plasma processing system (i.e., material etch, material deposition, etc.) at the substrate surface, other component surfaces on the interior of the processing chamber are exposed to the physically and chemically active plasma environment and, in time, can erode. The uncontrolled erosion of exposed components in the plasma processing system can lead to a gradual degradation of the plasma processing performance, can contribute contamination to the plasma processing, and, in general, is such that erosion of these components affects specific processes in the plasma processing system. Thus, the semiconductor industry has primarily focused on monitoring and controlling the erosion of exposed components in a plasma processing system.
One object of the present invention is to provide a method and system for introducing an active material into a chemical process in a semiconductor manufacturing process.
Another object of the present invention is to utilize the erosion of exposed components in a processing chamber to improve a process performed in the chamber.
Yet another object of the present invention is to utilize controlled erosion of exposed components in a processing chamber to introduce an active material into the semiconductor manufacturing process.
Accordingly, in one aspect of the present invention a processing element is configured to affect a chemical process in a semiconductor manufacturing system. The processing element including a passive component configured to be coupled to a semiconductor manufacturing system and configured to erode when exposed to a chemical process in the semiconductor manufacturing system. The processing element includes an active component coupled to the passive component and configured to alter the chemistry of the chemical process when the active component is exposed to the chemical process.
In another aspect of the present invention, a semiconductor manufacturing system for processing a substrate using a chemical process includes a processing chamber configured to facilitate the chemical process, a substrate holder coupled to the processing chamber and configured to support the substrate; a gas distribution system coupled to the processing chamber and configured to introduce a process gas to the processing chamber; a plasma source coupled to the processing chamber and configured to generate a plasma in the processing chamber, and at least one processing element coupled to at least one of the processing chamber, the substrate holder, the gas distribution system, and the plasma source. The at least one processing element includes a passive component configured to erode when exposed to the chemical process in the semiconductor manufacturing system, and includes an active component coupled to the passive component and configured to alter the chemistry of the chemical process when the active component is exposed to the chemical process.
In another aspect of the present invention, a method of utilizing a processing element to affect a chemical process in a semiconductor manufacturing system includes installing in a semiconductor manufacturing system at least one processing element, including a passive component configured to be coupled to the semiconductor manufacturing system and including an active component coupled to the passive component, exposing the at least one processing element to the chemical process in order to facilitate erosion of the passive element, and introducing the active component during the erosion of the passive component in order to alter the chemistry of the chemical process when the active component is exposed to the chemical process.
In a further aspect of the present invention, the method monitors the erosion of the yet passive component.
In still a further aspect of the present invention, the method controls the introduction of the active component by (1) varying a distribution of at least one of a size, composition, and a concentration of the active component in the passive component, (2) varying the temperature of the passive component, or (3) tailoring a geometry of the passive component.
A more complete appreciation of the present invention and many attendant advantages thereof will be readily obtained as the same becomes better understood by reference to the following detailed description when considered in connection with the accompanying drawings, wherein:
As noted in the Description of Related Art section above, existing mechanisms for delivery of process affecting materials into a plasma process chamber are complex and expensive. For example, while some solid materials may be used to enhance a chemical process performed in a processing chamber, there is currently no tested mechanism for delivery of the solid material into the process chamber during the chemical process. Moreover, the introduction of a process affecting liquid materials into a semiconductor manufacturing system is a generally a tenuous process. A liquid material introduced to the chamber will frequently condensed on walls below a temperature at which the liquid will vaporize, resulting in an extended “memory effect” on the semiconductor manufacturing process. Further, in vacuum processing systems, evaporation of the condensed liquid cools the liquid resulting in at best a reduced evaporation rate and at worse the liquid being frozen into a solid phase. Finally, vacuum processing pumps do not typically handle pumping large quantities of liquid with some degradation. Thus, traditional processes for injecting liquids or injecting a pre-vaporized liquids into a semiconductor manufacturing system, especially a vacuum processing system, do not provide a controlled mechanism for reliably providing the liquid material.
Although the erosion of exposed components in a chemical processing system has generally been perceived by the semiconductor manufacturing industry as a problem to be controlled, the present inventors have discovered that controlled erosion of chamber components can be used as a mechanism for delivery of process affecting materials into the process chamber. In particular, one embodiment of the present invention incorporates a liquid as an active material in an inert matrix as the passive material as part of a chamber component such that the active material be released upon exposure and erosion of the chamber component by a chemical process (e.g., a plasma process). This embodiment of the invention provides the active material in a controlled fashion at a point of use and consumption where it will impact the chemical process and be less likely to negatively affect the semiconductor processing system.
Referring now to the drawings, wherein like reference numerals designate identical, or corresponding parts throughout the several views, and more particularly to
Referring again to
According to the illustrated embodiment of the present invention depicted in
Substrate 25 can be, for example, transferred into and out of the processing chamber 10 through a slot valve (not shown) and chamber feed-through (not shown) via robotic substrate transfer system where the substrate 25 is received by substrate lift pins (not shown) housed within substrate holder 20 and mechanically translated by devices housed therein. Once substrate 25 is received from substrate transfer system, substrate 25 can be placed on an upper surface of substrate holder 20.
For example, substrate 25 can be affixed to the substrate holder 20 via an electrostatic clamping system 28. Furthermore, substrate holder 20 can further include a cooling system including a re-circulating coolant flow that receives heat from substrate holder 20 and transfers heat to a heat exchanger system (not shown), or when heating, transfers heat from the heat exchanger system. Moreover, a gas (e.g., He or H2 gas) can be delivered to the back-side of the substrate via a backside gas system 26 to improve the gas-gap thermal conductance between substrate 25 and substrate holder 20. Such a system can be utilized when temperature control of the substrate is required at elevated or reduced temperatures. For example, temperature control of the substrate can be useful at temperatures in excess of the steady-state temperature achieved due to a balance of the heat flux delivered to the substrate 25 from the plasma and the heat flux removed from substrate 25 by conduction to the substrate holder 20. In other embodiments, heating elements, such as resistive heating elements, or thermoelectric heaters/coolers can be included.
As shown in
Alternately, RF power can be applied to the substrate holder electrode at multiple frequencies. Furthermore, impedance match network 32 serves to maximize the transfer of RF power to plasma in processing chamber 10 by minimizing reflected power. Various match network topologies (e.g., L-type, π-type, T-type, etc.) and automatic control methods can be utilized.
With continuing reference to
Vacuum pump system 45 can, for example, include a turbo-molecular vacuum pump (TMP) capable of a pumping speed up to 5000 liters per second (and greater) and a gate valve for throttling the chamber pressure. In conventional dry plasma etch process, a 1000 to 3000 liter per second TMP is generally employed. Furthermore, a device for monitoring chamber pressure (not shown) is coupled to the process chamber 10. The pressure measuring device can be, for example, a Type 628B Baratron absolute capacitance manometer commercially available from MKS Instruments, Inc. (Andover, Mass.).
Additionally, semiconductor manufacturing system 1 can include a plurality of sensors coupled to processing chamber 10 to measure data and controller 55 can be coupled to the sensors to receive the data. The sensors can include both sensors that are intrinsic to the processing chamber 10 and sensors that are extrinsic to the processing chamber 10. Sensors intrinsic to processing chamber 10 include those sensors pertaining to the functionality of processing chamber 10 such as for example the measurement of the Helium backside gas pressure, helium backside flow, electrostatic clamping (ESC) voltage, ESC current, substrate holder 20 temperature (or lower electrode (LEL) temperature), coolant temperature, upper electrode (UEL) temperature, forward RF power, reflected RF power, RF self-induced DC bias, RF peak-to-peak voltage, chamber wall temperature, process gas flow rates, process gas partial pressures, chamber pressure, capacitor settings (i.e., C1 and C2 positions), a focus ring thickness, RF hours, focus ring RF hours, and any statistic thereof. Sensors extrinsic to processing chamber 10 include those sensors not directly related to the functionality of processing chamber 10 such as for example a light detection device 34 for monitoring the light emitted from the plasma in processing region 5 as shown in
The light detection device 34 can include a detector such as a (silicon) photodiode or a photomultiplier tube (PMT) for measuring the total light intensity emitted from the plasma. The light detection device 34 can further include an optical filter such as a narrow-band interference filter. In an alternate embodiment, the light detection device 34 includes a line CCD (charge coupled device) or CID (charge injection device) array and a light dispersing device such as a grating or a prism. Additionally, light detection device 34 can include a monochromator (e.g., grating/detector system) for measuring light at a given wavelength, or a spectrometer (e.g., with a rotating grating) for measuring the light spectrum such as, for example, the device described in U.S. Pat. No. 5,888,337, the entire contents of which are incorporated by reference.
The light detection device 34 can include a high resolution optical emission spectrometer (OES) sensor from Peak Sensor Systems. Such an OES sensor has a broad spectrum that spans the ultraviolet (UV), visible (VIS), and near infrared (NIR) light spectrums. The resolution is approximately 1.4 Angstroms, that is, the sensor is capable of collecting 5550 wavelengths from 240 to 1000 nm. The sensor is equipped with high sensitivity miniature fiber optic UV-VIS-NIR spectrometers which are, in turn, integrated with 2048 pixel linear CCD arrays.
The spectrometers receive light transmitted through single and bundled optical fibers, where the light output from the optical fibers is dispersed across the line CCD array using a fixed grating. Similar to the configuration described above, light emitting through an optical vacuum window is focused onto the input end of the optical fibers via a convex spherical lens. Three spectrometers, each specifically tuned for a given spectral range (UV, VIS and NIR), form a sensor for a process chamber. Each spectrometer includes an independent A/D converter. And lastly, depending upon the sensor utilization, a full emission spectrum can be recorded every 0.1 to 1.0 seconds.
The electrical measurement device 36 can include, for example, a current and/or voltage probe, a power meter, or spectrum analyzer. For example, plasma processing systems often employ RF power to form plasma, in which case, an RF transmission line, such as a coaxial cable or structure, is employed to couple RF energy to the plasma through an electrical coupling element (i.e., inductive coil, electrode, etc.). Electrical measurements using, for example, a current-voltage probe, can be exercised anywhere within the electrical (RF) circuit, such as within an RF transmission line. Furthermore, the measurement of an electrical signal, such as a time trace of voltage or current, permits the transformation of the signal into frequency space using discrete Fourier series representation (assuming a periodic signal). Thereafter, the Fourier spectrum (or for a time varying signal, the frequency spectrum) can be monitored and analyzed to characterize the state of semiconductor manufacturing system 1. A voltage-current probe can be, for example, a device as described in detail in pending U.S. Application Ser. No. 60/259,862 filed on Jan. 8, 2001, and U.S. Pat. No. 5,467,013, the entire contents of which is incorporated herein by reference.
In alternate embodiments, electrical measurement device 36 can include a broadband RF antenna useful for measuring a radiated RF field external to semiconductor manufacturing system 1. One broadband antenna suitable for the present invention is the commercially available broadband RF antenna, Antenna Research Model RAM-220 (0.1 MHz to 300 MHz).
In general, the plurality of sensors can include any number of sensors, intrinsic and extrinsic, which can be coupled to processing chamber 10 to provide tool data to the controller 55.
Controller 55 includes a microprocessor, memory, and a digital I/O port (potentially including D/A and/or A/D converters) configured to generate control voltages sufficient to communicate and activate inputs to the semiconductor manufacturing system 1 as well as monitor outputs from semiconductor manufacturing system 1. As shown in
As shown in
As shown in
As shown in
Alternately, the plasma can be formed using electron cyclotron resonance (ECR). In yet another embodiment, the plasma is formed from the launching of a Helicon wave. In yet another embodiment, the plasma is formed from a propagating surface wave.
Referring now to
The passive component 100 includes in one embodiment of the present invention a binding medium that may, for example, include a solid such as a polymer, a porous polymer, or a foam, or it may, for example, include a non-Newtonian fluid such as a gel. The active component 110 can be a material either in solid form, such as a powder or small particles, or in liquid form. In one example, when the active component 110 includes small particles, the passive component 100 can be a polymer. The small particles may be dispersed within a polymer such as Kapton, polyimide, ultem, amorphous carbon, Teflon, Peek, thermoplastic polymer, thermoset polymer, or sol-gel, ceramic, or glass. For example, U.S. Pat. No. 4,997,862, the entire contents of which are incorporated by reference, describes a process for preparing a mixture of colloidal particles in a resin matrix. Alternatively, in another example, when the active component 110 is a liquid additive, the passive component 100 can be a porous polymer, or a foam. For example, U.S. Pat. No. 6,436,426, the entire contents of which are incorporated by reference, describes a process for producing porous polymer materials. The active component 110 being in this embodiment of the present invention injected into the pores of the passive component 100.
Thus, an embodiment of the present invention provides a mechanism for inexpensive and effective delivery of solid or liquid active material to a chemical process performed in a process chamber. Moreover, an embodiment of the present invention provides a way of utilizing the widely perceived problem of erosion of chamber components to actually enhance a chemical process performed in the process chamber.
Further, in one embodiment, the active component 110 includes organo-metallic compounds, such as those compounds formed using yttrium, aluminum, iron, titanium, zirconium, and hafnium, and mixtures thereof. Some non-limiting examples of specific organo-metallic compounds for use in the present invention are yttrium tris hexafluoroacetylacetonate, yttrium tris(2,2,6,6-hexamethyl)-3,5-heptanedionate, yttrium tris diphenylacetylacetonate, 1,2-diferrocenylethane, aluminum tris(2,2,6,6-tetramethyl)-3-5-heptanedionate, aluminum lactate, aluminum-8-hydroxyquinoline, bis(cyclopentadienyl)titanium pentasulfide, bis(pentamethylcyclopentadienyl) hafnium dichloride, zirconium acetylacetonate, zirconium tetra(2,26,6-tetramethyl)-3,5-pentanedionate, zirconium tetra(1,5-diphenylpentane-2-4-dione), ferrocene aldehyde, ferrocene methanol, ferrocene ethanol, ferrocene carboxylic acid, ferrocene dicarboxylic acid, 1,2 diferrocene ethane, 1,3 diferrocene propane, 1,4 diferrocene butane and decamethylferrocene. According to an embodiment of the present invention the addition of organo-metallic compounds as the active component 110 leads to greater etch resistance for a photoresist. Additionally, these additives can alter loading effects of the plasma, and subsequent deposition reactions, and can improve a center-to-edge uniformity and an aspect ratio dependent etching (i.e., an isolated-to-nested array structure uniformity).
In another embodiment, the active component 110 includes ultraviolet (UV) absorbers and stabilizers, such as benzophenone, benzotriazole, and hindered amine stabilizers (HALS). According to an embodiment of the present invention, the addition of UV absorbers/stabilizers as active component 110 can lead to reduced bond-breaking in photoresist during plasma etching and, therefore, less photoresist damage and greater etch resistance. Additionally, these additives can be used to alter loading effects of the plasma, and subsequent deposition reactions, and can improve a center-to-edge uniformity and an aspect ratio dependent etching (i.e., an isolated-to-nested array structure uniformity).
In another embodiment, the active component 110 includes antioxidants, such as hindered phenols, aromatic amines, organophosphorous compounds, thiosynergists, hydroxylamine, lactones, and acrylated bis-phenols. According to an embodiment of the present invention, the addition of anti-oxidants can tie up free radicals, thereby leading to more deposition and different bonding structures within a deposition chemistry, leading to less photoresist damage, greater etch resistance, and increased selectivity. Additionally, these additives can be used to alter loading effects of the plasma, and subsequent deposition reactions, and can improve a center-to-edge uniformity and an aspect ratio dependent etching such as an isolated-to-nested array structure uniformity. For example, isolated versus nested array structure suggests the spacing between structures (or pitch), wherein for isolated structures the spacing is large, and for nested structures, the spacing is small.
In order to control the rate at which the active component 110 is exposed to the processing plasma, at least one of a process gas, a processing element temperature, a geometry of the processing element, a size of the active component, a concentration of the active component, or a distribution of the active component is adjusted, according to an embodiment of the present invention. For example, the size of the chamber component and the orientation of the active component coupled thereto may be configured in consideration of a known erosion rate of the chamber component in a particular chamber chemical process. As would be appreciated by one of ordinary skill in the art, different configurations of the chamber component may be used in consideration of factors such as the active component composition, the process in the chamber, the composition of the passive matrix, etc.
As another example of controlling the rate of the active component, a process gas can include an etch gas having one or more constituents, any of which can be adjusted by introduction of an active component to affect the chemistry of the chemical process and, in turn affect the interaction between the chemistry and the active component 110. For instance, when etching oxide dielectric films such as silicon oxide, silicon dioxide, etc., or when etching inorganic low-k dielectric films such as oxidized organosilanes, the etch gas composition generally includes a fluorocarbon-based chemistry such as at least one of C4F8, C5F8, C3F6, C4F6, CF4, etc., and at least one of an inert gas, oxygen, and CO. According to an embodiment of the present invention, the above-noted organo-metallic compounds can be encapsulated in the above-noted passive porous polymer matrix, e.g. Teflon. Upon heating the passive matrix, the organo-metallic compounds are expected to be released to the plasma process due to the accelerated consumption of the passive component, hence, affecting for example the electron-energy, electron distribution, and thus uniformity of the dielectric etching process.
Alternatively, for example, when etching organic low-k dielectric films such as SiLK-I, SiLK-J, SiLK-H, SiLK-D, and porous SILK semiconductor dielectric resins commercially available from Dow Chemical, and FLARE™ and Nano-glass commercially available from Honeywell, the etch gas composition generally includes at least one of a nitrogen-containing gas, and a hydrogen-containing gas. Alternatively, for instance, when etching silicon, the etch gas composition generally includes at least one of a fluorine containing gas such as NF3, SiF4, or SF6, HBr, and O2. As before, the encapsulation of an organo-metallic compound in for example a porous polymer are expected to upon for example heating introduce the organo-metallic compounds into the plasma etching process and improve uniformity.
Indeed, the temperature of the processing element can be varied to affect the rate at which the active component 110 is introduced into the plasma chemistry. The processing element can be heated passively, due to its contact with the chemical process, or the processing element can be heated actively by a voltage-controlled heating element disposed in the processing chamber proximate the processing element. For instance, the heating element can be a resistive heating element such as a tungsten, nickel-chromium alloy, aluminum-iron alloy, aluminum nitride, etc., filament. Examples of commercially available materials to fabricate resistive heating elements include Kanthal, Nikrothal, Akrothal, which are registered trademark names for metal alloys produced by Kanthal Corporation of Bethel, Conn. The Kanthal family includes ferritic alloys (FeCrAl) and the Nikrothal family includes austenitic alloys (NiCr, NiCrFe). When an electrical current flows through the filament, power is dissipated as heat. Hence, the use of a temperature control unit, coupled to the heating element in the processing chamber, can adjust or control the temperature of the processing element and thus control a rate of delivery of the active material to the chemical process. In one example, the temperature control unit can include a controllable DC power supply such as a Firerod cartridge heater commercially available from Watlow (1310 Kingsland Dr., Batavia, Ill., 60510).
Alternately, for example, the cross-sectional geometry of the processing element can be varied in order to affect the amount of surface area exposed to the processing plasma as a function of time.
In one embodiment of the present invention, at least one of the size (pore size or particle size) of the active component and the concentration of the active component (pores or particles) are varied spatially throughout the processing element in order to affect the amount the active component 110 is exposed to the processing plasma in time. Further, in one embodiment of the present invention, the distribution of the active component (pores or particles) can vary spatially throughout the processing element in order to affect the amount the active component 110 is exposed to the processing plasma in time. For example, as the processing element erodes, the concentration of the active component 110 can increase, decrease, or remain constant in order to counter the effects of a drifting process between cleaning/maintenance intervals within the processing chamber.
Accordingly, in one method according to an embodiment of the present invention, a processing element is utilized to affect a chemical process in a semiconductor manufacturing system is described. This method follows the steps depicted in
In step 220, the processing element is exposed to the chemical process in the semiconductor manufacturing system. The semiconductor manufacturing system can be any one of the processing systems described in
In step 230, the active component is introduced to the chemical process as the passive component erodes in the presence of the chemical process.
Optionally, in step 240, the method monitors the processing element in order to determine the effectiveness of the introduction of the active component to the chemical process. For example, during plasma processing, the processing element can be monitored by measuring the intensity of light emitted from the processing chamber, wherein changes in the light intensity can correspond to changes in the introduction of the active component to the chemical process. Moreover, the spectrum of light across a pre-determined spectral range can be monitored using optical emission spectroscopy (OES), such as the system described above, to detect changes corresponding to the introduction of the active component. Monitoring light emission and using the light emission for detecting changes in a plasma process are well known to those skilled in the art optical diagnostics for plasma monitoring.
Optionally, for example, the processing element can be monitored by measuring a thickness of the processing element and detecting a change in the thickness as the chemical process proceeds. The thickness can be measured using an ultrasonic sensor, such as that described in U.S. Pat. No. 6,019,000 (Stanke et al.; Sensys Instruments Corporation, The Board of Trustees of the Leland Stanford Junior University), the entire contents of which is incorporated herein by reference.
Optionally, during plasma processing, the processing element can be monitored by measuring a voltage (or current) at a point within the electrical system using a voltage-current probe, such as the system described above. The voltage (or current) can be measured within the transmission line extending from an impedance match network to the respective electrode through which RF power is coupled to the processing plasma (see
Optionally, in step 250, the method controls the rate at which the active component is introduced to the chemical process. At least one of a process gas, a processing element temperature, a geometry of the processing element, a size of the active component, a concentration of the active component, or a distribution of the active component determines the rate of introduction of the active component. For example, after the monitoring system detects a first level of active component introduced to the chemical process, then the rate of introduction of the active component can be increased or decreased to achieve a second level of active component introduced to the chemical process by increasing or decreasing the temperature of the processing element, respectively.
Although only certain exemplary embodiments of this invention have been described in detail above, those skilled in the art will readily appreciate that many modifications are possible in the exemplary embodiments without materially departing from the novel teachings and advantages of this invention. Accordingly, all such modifications are intended to be included within the scope of this invention.
Hence, numerous modifications and variations of the present invention are possible in light of the above teachings. It is therefore to be understood that within the scope of the appended claims, the invention may be practiced otherwise than as specifically described herein.
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|U.S. Classification||156/345.1, 118/715, 257/E21.256|
|International Classification||C23F1/00, H01L21/311|
|Cooperative Classification||Y10T428/1352, H01L21/31138, Y10T428/1376, Y10T428/1372, H01J37/3244|
|European Classification||H01J37/32O2, H01L21/311C2B|
|Feb 23, 2004||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: TOKYO ELECTRON LIMITED, JAPAN
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:HUGHES, JOHN A.;HYLAND, SANDRA;KIM, RALPH;REEL/FRAME:015002/0297;SIGNING DATES FROM 20031023 TO 20031027