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Publication numberUS20080016714 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 11/782,352
Publication dateJan 24, 2008
Filing dateJul 24, 2007
Priority dateJul 24, 2006
Also published asCN101114577A, CN101114577B, US8356424, US20100285225
Publication number11782352, 782352, US 2008/0016714 A1, US 2008/016714 A1, US 20080016714 A1, US 20080016714A1, US 2008016714 A1, US 2008016714A1, US-A1-20080016714, US-A1-2008016714, US2008/0016714A1, US2008/016714A1, US20080016714 A1, US20080016714A1, US2008016714 A1, US2008016714A1
InventorsKoji Kaneyama, Kazuhito Shigemori, Masashi Kanaoka, Tadashi Miyagi, Shuichi Yasuda
Original AssigneeKoji Kaneyama, Kazuhito Shigemori, Masashi Kanaoka, Tadashi Miyagi, Shuichi Yasuda
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Substrate processing apparatus
US 20080016714 A1
Abstract
A substrate processing apparatus comprises an interface block. An exposure device is arranged adjacent to the interface block. The interface block includes first and second cleaning/drying processing units. A substrate W is subjected to cleaning and drying processing before exposure processing in the first cleaning/drying processing unit, while being subjected to cleaning and drying processing after the exposure processing in the second cleaning/drying processing unit.
Images(13)
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Claims(8)
1. A substrate processing apparatus that is arranged adjacent to an exposure device, comprising:
a processing section for subjecting a substrate to processing;
an interface for transferring and receiving the substrate between said processing section and said exposure device,
at least one of said processing section and said interface including
a drying processing unit that subjects the substrate to drying processing, and
said drying processing unit including
a substrate holding device that holds the substrate substantially horizontally,
a rotation driving device that rotates the substrate held by said substrate holding device around an axis perpendicular to the substrate,
a liquid layer formation device that forms a liquid layer on the substrate held by said substrate holding device, and
a gas discharge device that discharges gas toward the center of the liquid layer formed on the substrate by said liquid layer formation device with the substrate rotated by said rotation driving device.
2. The substrate processing apparatus according to claim 1, wherein
said rotation driving device rotates the substrate at a first rotational speed when said liquid layer formation device forms said liquid layer and gradually or continuously increases the rotational speed of the substrate to a second rotational speed after said liquid layer formation device forms the liquid layer, and
said gas discharge device discharges the gas to the liquid layer on the substrate rotated at a third rotational speed higher than said first rotational speed and lower than said second rotational speed.
3. The substrate processing apparatus according to claim 2, wherein
said rotation driving device maintains the rotational speed of the substrate at a fourth rotational speed higher than said first rotational speed and lower than said second rotational speed for a predetermined time period after said liquid layer formation device forms the liquid layer and before said gas discharge device discharges the gas.
4. The substrate processing apparatus according to claim 1, wherein
said drying processing unit further includes
a layer thickness detector that detects the thickness of the liquid layer formed on the substrate by said liquid layer formation device, and
a controller that controls the rotational speed of the substrate by said rotation driving device and the timing of the discharge of the gas by said gas discharge device on the basis of the thickness of the liquid layer detected by said layer thickness detector.
5. The substrate processing apparatus according to claim 1, wherein
said drying processing unit subjects the substrate to the drying processing after exposure processing by said exposure device.
6. The substrate processing apparatus according to claim 5, wherein
the processing section further includes a development processing unit that subjects the substrate to development processing, and
said drying processing unit subjects the substrate to the drying processing after the exposure processing by said exposure device and before the development processing by said development processing unit.
7. The substrate processing apparatus according to claim 1, wherein
said drying processing unit subjects the substrate to the drying processing before the exposure processing by said exposure device.
8. The substrate processing apparatus according to claim 7, wherein
said processing section further includes
a photosensitive film formation unit that forms on the substrate a photosensitive film composed of a photosensitive material, and
a protective film formation unit that forms a protective film for protecting said photosensitive film,
said drying processing unit subjecting the substrate to the drying processing after the formation of said photosensitive film and said protective film and before the exposure processing by said exposure device.
Description
    BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • [0001]
    1. Field of the Invention
  • [0002]
    The present invention relates to a substrate processing apparatus that subjects substrates to processing.
  • [0003]
    2. Description of the Background Art
  • [0004]
    Substrate processing apparatuses are used to subject various types of substrates such as semiconductor substrates, substrates for liquid crystal displays, plasma displays, optical disks, magnetic disks, magneto-optical disks, and photomasks, and other substrates to various types of processing.
  • [0005]
    Such a substrate processing apparatus generally subjects a single substrate to a plurality of different types of processing successively. The substrate processing apparatus as described in JP 2003-324139 A comprises an indexer block, an anti-reflection film processing block, a resist film processing block, a development processing block, and an interface block. An exposure device is arranged adjacent to the interface block as an external device separate from the substrate processing apparatus.
  • [0006]
    In the above-mentioned substrate processing apparatus, a substrate carried out of the indexer block is transported to the exposure device through the interface block after being subjected to anti-reflection film formation and resist film coating processing in the anti-reflection film processing block and the resist film processing block. After the resist film on the substrate is subjected to exposure processing in the exposure device, the substrate is transported to the development processing block through the interface block. After the resist film on the substrate is subjected to development processing to form a resist pattern thereon in the development processing block, the substrate is transported to the indexer block.
  • [0007]
    With recent increases in density and integration of devices, making finer resist patterns has become an important problem. Conventional exposure devices have generally performed exposure processing by reduction-projecting a reticle pattern on a substrate through a projection lens. With such conventional exposure devices, however, the line width of an exposure pattern is determined by the wavelength of a light source of the exposure device. Therefore, making finer resist patterns has had a limitation.
  • [0008]
    Therefore, a liquid immersion method is suggested as a projection exposure method allowing for finer exposure patterns (see, e.g., WO99/49504 pamphlet). In the projection exposure device according to the WO99/49504 pamphlet, an area between a projection optical system and a substrate is filled with a liquid, resulting in a shorter wavelength of exposure light on a main surface of the substrate. This allows for finer exposure patterns.
  • [0009]
    However, in the projection exposure device according to the above-mentioned WO99/49504 pamphlet, exposure processing is performed with the substrate and the liquid brought into contact with each other. Accordingly, the substrate to which the liquid adheres is carried out of the exposure device. When the exposure device using the liquid immersion method as described in the above-mentioned WO99/49504 pamphlet is provided as an external device in the substrate processing apparatus according to the above-mentioned JP 2003-324139 A, therefore, the liquid adhering to the substrate that has been carried out of the exposure device may drop in the substrate processing apparatus, causing operational troubles such as abnormalities in an electric system of the substrate processing apparatus.
  • [0010]
    When the liquid adheres to the substrate that has been subjected to the exposure processing, particles and the like may easily adhere to the substrate, and the liquid that adheres to the substrate adversely affects a film formed on the substrate. This causes processing defects to occur in the substrate.
  • SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • [0011]
    An object of the invention is to provide a substrate processing apparatus in which operational troubles and processing defects due to a liquid that has adhered to a substrate in an exposure device are prevented.
  • [0012]
    (1) A substrate processing apparatus according to an aspect of the present invention is a substrate processing apparatus that is arranged adjacent to an exposure device, comprising a processing section for subjecting a substrate to processing, an interface for transferring and receiving the substrate between the processing section and the exposure device, at least one of the processing section and the interface including a drying processing unit that subjects the substrate to drying processing, and the drying processing unit including a substrate holding device that holds the substrate substantially horizontally, a rotation driving device that rotates the substrate held by the substrate holding device around an axis perpendicular to the substrate, a liquid layer formation device that forms a liquid layer on the substrate held by the substrate holding device, and a gas discharge device that discharges gas toward the center of the liquid layer formed on the substrate by the liquid layer formation device with the substrate rotated by the rotation driving device.
  • [0013]
    In the substrate processing apparatus, the substrate is subjected to the predetermined processing in the processing section, and is then transferred from the processing section to the exposure device by the interface. After the substrate is subjected to the exposure processing in the exposure device, the substrate that has been subjected to the exposure processing is returned to the processing section from the exposure device by the interface. Before or after the exposure processing by the exposure device, the subject is subjected to the drying processing by the drying processing unit.
  • [0014]
    In the drying processing unit, the liquid layer is formed on the substrate by the liquid layer formation device. The gas is discharged toward the center of the liquid layer on the substrate by the gas discharge device with the substrate rotated by the rotation driving device. Even if the liquid adheres on the substrate, therefore, the liquid, together with the liquid layer formed on the substrate, is moved outwardly from the substrate by a centrifugal force and is removed. In this case, the liquid layer is integrally moved outwardly from the substrate with its annular shape held by surface tension without being separated into a plurality of areas, so that the formation of a minute droplet is restrained, which allows the liquid on the substrate to be reliably removed.
  • [0015]
    In a case where the substrate after the exposure processing is thus subjected to the drying processing, even if the liquid adheres to the substrate in the exposure device, the liquid can be prevented from dropping in the substrate processing apparatus. As a result, operational troubles in the substrate processing apparatus can be prevented.
  • [0016]
    The substrate is subjected to the drying processing, which prevents particles and the like in an atmosphere from adhering to the liquid that has adhered to the substrate during the exposure processing. The liquid that has adhered to the substrate is prevented from adversely affecting a film formed on the substrate. This prevents processing defects in the substrate.
  • [0017]
    On the other hand, when the substrate before the exposure processing is subjected to the drying processing, the liquid layer is formed on the substrate, which allows particles and the like that have adhered to the substrate in the processing step before the exposure processing to be removed immediately before the exposure processing. As a result, it is possible to prevent contamination in the exposure device and to reliably prevent processing defects in the substrate.
  • [0018]
    (2) The rotation driving device may rotate the substrate at a first rotational speed when the liquid layer formation device forms the liquid layer and gradually or continuously increase the rotational speed of the substrate to a second rotational speed after the liquid layer formation device forms the liquid layer, and the gas discharge device may discharge the gas to the liquid layer on the substrate rotated at a third rotational speed higher than the first rotational speed and lower than the second rotational speed.
  • [0019]
    In this case, the substrate is rotated at the first rotational speed by the rotation driving device during the formation of the liquid layer. This allows the liquid layer to be uniformly formed on the substrate even in a state where the substrate is slightly inclined to a horizontal plane
  • [0020]
    After the liquid layer is formed, the rotational speed of the substrate gradually or continuously increases by the rotation driving device. This causes an outward centrifugal force exerted on a peripheral edge of the liquid layer to be increased. On the other hand, tension corresponding to the centrifugal force is exerted on the center of the liquid layer, so that the liquid layer is held on the substrate without being splashed outward.
  • [0021]
    When the rotational speed of the substrate is the third rotational speed higher than the first rotational speed and lower than the second rotational speed in the process of increasing the rotational speed of the substrate, the gas is discharged toward the center of the liquid layer on the substrate by the gas discharge device. This causes the tension exerted on the center of the liquid layer to disappear, so that the liquid layer is moved outwardly from the substrate by the centrifugal force. In this case, the liquid layer is integrally moved outwardly from the substrate with the annular shape held by the surface tension without being separated into a plurality of areas. Therefore, the formation of the minute droplet on the substrate is restrained, which allows the liquid layer on the substrate to be reliably removed.
  • [0022]
    (3) The rotation driving device may maintain the rotational speed of the substrate at a fourth rotational speed higher than the first rotational speed and lower than the second rotational speed for a predetermined time period after the liquid layer formation device forms the liquid layer and before the gas discharge device discharges the gas.
  • [0023]
    In this case, the liquid layer spreads over the entire area of the substrate, and is stably held on the substrate. This reliably prevents the liquid layer from being splashed outwardly from the substrate before the gas discharge device discharges the gas, and allows the liquid layer to be integrally moved outwardly from the substrate with the annular shape reliably held when the gas discharge device discharges the gas.
  • [0024]
    (4) The drying processing unit may further include a layer thickness detector that detects the thickness of the liquid layer formed on the substrate by the liquid layer formation device, and a controller that controls the rotational speed of the substrate by the rotation driving device and the timing of the discharge of the gas by the gas discharge device on the basis of the thickness of the liquid layer detected by the layer thickness detector.
  • [0025]
    In this case, the gas can be discharged in a state where the center of the liquid layer is sufficiently thinned and the liquid layer is not separated into a plurality of areas by the centrifugal force, which causes the tension exerted on the center of the liquid layer to reliably disappear. Therefore, the liquid layer can be integrally moved outwardly from the substrate with the annular shape held. This allows the liquid layer on the substrate to be reliably removed.
  • [0026]
    (5) The drying processing unit may subject the substrate to the drying processing after exposure processing by the exposure device.
  • [0027]
    In this case, even if the liquid adheres to the substrate in the exposure device, the liquid can be prevented from dropping in the substrate processing apparatus. As a result, operational troubles in the substrate processing apparatus can be prevented.
  • [0028]
    The substrate is subjected to the drying processing, which prevents particles and the like in an atmosphere from adhering to the liquid that has adhered to the substrate during the exposure processing. This can prevent processing defects in the substrate.
  • [0029]
    (6) The processing section may further include a development processing unit that subjects the substrate to development processing, and the drying processing unit may subject the substrate to the drying processing after the exposure processing by the exposure device and before the development processing by the development processing unit.
  • [0030]
    In this case, the substrate is subjected to the drying processing before the development processing by the development processing unit. Even if the liquid adheres to the substrate during the exposure processing, therefore, an exposure pattern can be prevented from being deformed by the liquid. This can reliably prevent line definition during the development processing from being reduced.
  • [0031]
    (7) The drying processing unit may subject the substrate to the drying processing before the exposure processing by the exposure device.
  • [0032]
    In this case, the liquid layer is formed on the substrate, which allows particles and the like that have adhered to the substrate in the processing step before the exposure processing to be removed immediately before the exposure processing. As a result, contamination in the exposure device can be prevented, which can reliably prevent processing defects in the substrate.
  • [0033]
    (8) The processing section may further include a photosensitive film formation unit that forms on the substrate a photosensitive film composed of a photosensitive material, and a protective film formation unit that forms a protective film for protecting the photosensitive film, and the drying processing unit may subject the substrate to the drying processing after the formation of the photosensitive film and the protective film and before the exposure processing by the exposure device.
  • [0034]
    In this case, some of respective components of the photosensitive film and the protective film that are formed on the substrate are eluted in the liquid layer during the drying processing. Even if the substrate is brought into contact with the liquid in the exposure device, therefore, the components of the photosensitive film and the protective film on the substrate are hardly eluded into the liquid. Consequently, contamination in the exposure device can be prevented.
  • [0035]
    Other features, elements, characteristics, and advantages of the present invention will become more apparent from the following description of preferred embodiments of the present invention with reference to the attached drawings.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • [0036]
    FIG. 1 is a plan view of a substrate processing apparatus according to a first embodiment of the present invention;
  • [0037]
    FIG. 2 is a schematic side view of the substrate processing apparatus in FIG. 1 as viewed from the +X direction;
  • [0038]
    FIG. 3 is a schematic side view of the substrate processing apparatus in FIG. 1 as viewed from the +X direction;
  • [0039]
    FIG. 4 is a schematic side view of an interface block as viewed from the +Y side;
  • [0040]
    FIG. 5 is a diagram for explaining the configuration of a cleaning/drying processing unit;
  • [0041]
    FIG. 6 is a diagram for explaining the details of substrate drying processing;
  • [0042]
    FIG. 7 is a diagram for explaining the details of substrate drying processing;
  • [0043]
    FIG. 8 is a diagram showing the rotational speed of a rotation shaft in time series;
  • [0044]
    FIG. 9 is a schematic view in a case where a liquid supply nozzle and an inert gas supply nozzle are integrally provided;
  • [0045]
    FIG. 10 is a schematic view showing another example of a cleaning/drying processing unit;
  • [0046]
    FIG. 11 is a vertical sectional view showing an example of the internal configuration of a two-fluid nozzle used for cleaning and drying processing; and
  • [0047]
    FIG. 12 is a diagram for explaining a method of subjecting a substrate to cleaning and drying processing using the two-fluid nozzle shown in FIG. 11.
  • DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS
  • [0048]
    A substrate processing apparatus according to embodiments of the present invention will be described with reference to the drawings. In the following description, a substrate refers to a semiconductor substrate, a substrate for a liquid crystal display, a substrate for a plasma display, a glass substrate for a photomask, a substrate for an optical disk, a substrate for a magnetic disk, a substrate for a magneto-optical disk, a substrate for a photomask, or the like.
  • (1) Configuration of Substrate Processing Apparatus
  • [0049]
    FIG. 1 is a plan view of a substrate processing apparatus according to a first embodiment of the present invention. FIG. 1 and FIGS. 2 to 4 described later are accompanied by arrows that respectively indicate X, Y, and Z directions perpendicular to one another for clarity of a positional relationship. The X and Y directions are perpendicular to each other within a horizontal plane, and the Z direction corresponds to a vertical direction. In each of the directions, the direction of an arrow is defined as a +direction, and the opposite direction is defined as a −direction. A rotation direction centered around the Z direction is defined as a θ direction.
  • [0050]
    As shown in FIG. 1, a substrate processing apparatus 500 comprises an indexer block 9, an anti-reflection film processing block 10, a resist film processing block 11, a development processing block 12, a resist cover film processing block 13, a resist cover film removal block 14, and an interface block 15. An exposure device 16 is arranged adjacent to the interface block 15. The exposure device 16 subjects a substrate W to exposure processing by means of a liquid immersion method.
  • [0051]
    Each of the indexer block 9, the anti-reflection film processing block 10, the resist film processing block 11, the development processing block 12, the resist cover film processing block 13, the resist cover film removal block 14, and the interface block 15 will be hereafter referred to as a processing block.
  • [0052]
    The indexer block 9 includes a main controller 30 for controlling the operation of each of the processing blocks, a plurality of carrier platforms 40, and an indexer robot IR. The indexer robot IR has a hand IRH provided for receiving and transferring the substrates W.
  • [0053]
    The anti-reflection film processing block 10 includes thermal processing groups 100 and 101 for anti-reflection film, a coating processing group 50 for anti-reflection film, and a first central robot CR1. The coating processing group 50 is provided opposite to the thermal processing groups 100 and 101 with the first central robot CR1 sandwiched therebetween. The first central robot CR1 has hands CRH1 and CRH2 provided one above the other for receiving and transferring the substrates W.
  • [0054]
    A partition wall 17 is provided between the indexer block 9 and the anti-reflection film processing block 10 for shielding an atmosphere. The partition wall 17 has substrate platforms PASS1 and PASS2 provided in close proximity one above the other for receiving and transferring the substrates W between the indexer block 9 and the anti-reflection film processing block 10. The upper substrate platform PASS1 is used in transporting the substrates W from the indexer block 9 to the anti-reflection film processing block 10, and the lower substrate platform PASS2 is used in transporting the substrates W from the anti-reflection film processing block 10 to the indexer block 9.
  • [0055]
    Each of the substrate platforms PASS1 and PASS2 is provided with an optical sensor (not shown) for detecting the presence or absence of the substrate W. This allows determination to be made whether or not the substrate W is placed on the substrate platform PASS1 or PASS2. In addition, each of the substrate platforms PASS1 and PASS2 has a plurality of support pins secured thereto. Note that each of substrate platforms PASS3 to PASS13 described later is similarly provided with an optical sensor and support pins.
  • [0056]
    The resist film processing block 11 includes thermal processing groups 110 and 111 for resist film, a coating processing group 60 for resist film, and a second central robot CR2. The coating processing group 60 is provided opposite to the thermal processing groups 110 and 111 with the second central robot CR2 sandwiched therebetween. The second central robot CR2 has hands CRH3 and CRH4 provided one above the other for receiving and transferring the substrates W.
  • [0057]
    A partition wall 18 is provided between the anti-reflection film processing block 10 and the resist film processing block 11 for shielding an atmosphere. The partition wall 18 has substrate platforms PASS3 and PASS4 provided in close proximity one above the other for receiving and transferring the substrates W between the anti-reflection film processing block 10 and the resist film processing block 11. The upper substrate platform PASS3 is used in transporting the substrates W from the anti-reflection film processing block 10 to the resist film processing block 11, and the lower substrate platform PASS4 is used in transporting the substrates W from the resist film processing block 11 to the anti-reflection film processing block 10.
  • [0058]
    The development processing block 12 includes thermal processing groups 120 and 121 for development, a development processing group 70, and a third central robot CR3. The development processing group 70 is provided opposite to the thermal processing groups 120 and 121 with the third central robot CR3 sandwiched therebetween. The third central robot CR3 has hands CRH5 and CRH6 provided one above the other for receiving and transferring the substrates W.
  • [0059]
    A partition wall 19 is provided between the resist film processing block 11 and the development processing block 12 for shielding an atmosphere. The partition wall 19 has substrate platforms PASS5 and PASS6 provided in close proximity one above the other for receiving and transferring the substrates W between the resist film processing block 11 and the development processing block 12. The upper substrate platform PASS5 is used in transporting the substrates W from the resist film processing block 11 to the development processing block 12, and the lower substrate platform PASS6 is used in transporting the substrates W from the development processing block 12 to the resist film processing block 11.
  • [0060]
    The resist cover film processing block 13 includes thermal processing groups 130 and 131 for resist cover film, a coating processing group 80 for resist cover film, and a fourth central robot CR4. The coating processing group 80 is provided opposite to the thermal processing groups 130 and 131 with the fourth central robot CR4 sandwiched therebetween. The fourth central robot CR4 has hands CRH7 and CRH8 provided one above the other for receiving and transferring the substrates W.
  • [0061]
    A partition wall 20 is provided between the development processing block 12 and the resist cover film processing block 13 for shielding an atmosphere. The partition wall 20 has substrate platforms PASS7 and PASS8 provided in close proximity one above the other for receiving and transferring the substrates W between the development processing block 12 and the resist cover film processing block 13. The upper substrate platform PASS7 is used in transporting the substrates W from the development processing block 12 to the resist cover film processing block 13, and the lower substrate platform PASS8 is used in transporting the substrates W from the resist cover film processing block 13 to the development processing block 12.
  • [0062]
    The resist cover film removal block 14 includes thermal processing groups 140 and 141 for post-exposure bake, a removal processing group 90 for resist cover film, and a fifth central robot CR5. The thermal processing group 141 is adjacent to the interface block 15, and comprises substrate platforms PASS11 and PASS12, as described later. The removal processing group 90 is provided opposite to the thermal processing groups 140 and 141 with the fifth central robot CR5 sandwiched therebetween. The fifth central robot CR5 has hands CRH9 and CRH10 provided one above the other for receiving and transferring the substrates w.
  • [0063]
    A partition wall 21 is provided between the resist cover film processing block 13 and the resist cover film removal block 14 for shielding an atmosphere. The partition wall 21 has substrate platforms PASS9 and PASS10 provided in close proximity one above the other for receiving and transferring the substrates W between the resist cover film processing block 13 and the resist cover film removal block 14. The upper substrate platform PASS9 is used in transporting the substrates W from the resist cover film processing block 13 to the resist cover film removal block 14, and the lower substrate platform PASS10 is used in transporting the substrates W from the resist cover film removal block 14 to the resist cover film processing block 13.
  • [0064]
    The interface block 15 includes a sending buffer unit SBF, first cleaning/drying processing units SD1, a sixth central robot CR6, an edge exposure unit EEW, a return buffer unit RBF, placement/cooling units PASS-CP (hereinafter abbreviated as P-CP), a substrate platform PASS13, an interface transport mechanism IFR, and second cleaning/drying processing units SD2. The first cleaning/drying processing unit SD1 subjects the substrate W before exposure processing to cleaning and drying processing, and the second cleaning/drying processing unit SD2 subjects the substrate W after exposure processing to cleaning and drying processing. The details of the first and second cleaning/drying processing units SD1 and SD2 will be described later.
  • [0065]
    The sixth central robot CR6 has hands CRH11 and CRH12 (see FIG. 4) provided one above the other for receiving and transferring the substrates W, and the interface transport mechanism IFR has hands H1 and H2 (see FIG. 4) provided one above the other for receiving and transferring the substrates W. The details of the interface block 15 will be described later.
  • [0066]
    In the substrate processing apparatus 500 according to the present embodiment, the indexer block 9, the anti-reflection film processing block 10, the resist film processing block 11, the development processing block 12, the resist cover film processing block 13, the resist cover film removal block 14, and the interface block 15 are provided side by side in this order in the Y direction.
  • [0067]
    FIG. 2 is a schematic side view of the substrate processing apparatus 500 shown in FIG. 1 as viewed from the +X direction, and FIG. 3 is a schematic side view of the substrate processing apparatus 500 shown in FIG. 1 as viewed from the −X direction. FIG. 2 mainly shows the configuration on the +X side of the substrate processing apparatus 500, and FIG. 3 mainly shows the configuration on the −X side of the substrate processing apparatus 500.
  • [0068]
    Description is first made of the configuration on the +X side of the substrate processing apparatus 500 using FIG. 2. As shown in FIG. 2, the coating processing group 50 (see FIG. 1) in the anti-reflection film processing block 10 has a vertical stack of three coating units BARC. Each of the coating units BARC comprises a spin chuck 51 for rotating the substrate W with the substrate W held in a horizontal attitude by suction, and a supply nozzle 52 for supplying a coating liquid for an anti-reflection film to the substrate W held on the spin chuck 51.
  • [0069]
    The coating processing group 60 (see FIG. 1) in the resist film processing block 11 has a vertical stack of three coating units RES. Each of the coating units RES comprises a spin chuck 61 for rotating the substrate W with the substrate W held in a horizontal attitude by suction, and a supply nozzle 62 for supplying a coating liquid for a resist film to the substrate W held on the spin chuck 61.
  • [0070]
    The development processing group 70 in the development processing block 12 has a vertical stack of five development processing units DEV. Each of the development processing units DEV comprises a spin chuck 71 for rotating the substrate W with the substrate W held in a horizontal attitude by suction, and a supply nozzle 72 for supplying a development liquid to the substrate W held on the spin chuck 71.
  • [0071]
    The coating processing group 80 in the resist cover film processing block 13 has a vertical stack of three coating units COV. Each of the coating units COV comprises a spin chuck 81 for rotating the substrate W with the substrate W held in a horizontal attitude by suction, and a supply nozzle 82 for supplying a coating liquid for a resist cover film to the substrate W held on the spin chuck 81. Materials having a low affinity for resists and water (materials having low reactivity to resists and water) can be used as the coating liquid for the resist cover film. An example of the coating liquid is fluororesin. Each of the coating units COV forms the resist cover film on the resist film formed on the substrate W by applying the coating liquid onto the substrate W while rotating the substrate W.
  • [0072]
    The removal processing group 90 in the resist cover film removal block 14 has a vertical stack of three removal units REM. Each of the removal units REM comprises a spin chuck 91 for rotating the substrate W with the substrate W held in a horizontal attitude by suction, and a supply nozzle 92 for supplying a stripping liquid (e.g. fluororesin) to the substrate W held on the spin chuck 91. Each of the removal units REM removes the resist cover film formed on the substrate W by applying the stripping liquid onto the substrate W while rotating the substrate W.
  • [0073]
    Note that a method of removing the resist cover films in the removal units REM is not limited to the above-mentioned example. For example, the resist cover film may be removed by supplying the stripping liquid onto the substrate W while moving a slit nozzle above the substrate W.
  • [0074]
    The interface block 15 has a vertical stack of an edge exposure unit EEW and three second cleaning/drying processing units SD2 on the +X side. The edge exposure unit EEW comprises a spin chuck 98 for rotating the substrate W with the substrate held in a horizontal attitude by suction, and a light irradiator 99 for exposing a peripheral portion of the substrate W held on the spin chuck 98.
  • [0075]
    Description is now made of the configuration on the −X side of the substrate processing apparatus 500 using FIG. 3. As shown in FIG. 3, each of the thermal processing groups 100 and 101 in the anti-reflection film processing block 10 has a stack of two heating units (hot plates) HP and two cooling units (cooling plates) CP. Each of the thermal processing groups 100 and 101 also has a local controller LC for controlling the temperatures of the heating units HP and the cooling units CP arranged in its uppermost part.
  • [0076]
    Each of the thermal processing groups 110 and 111 in the resist film processing block 11 has a stack of two heating units HP and two cooling units CP. Each of the thermal processing groups 110 and 111 also has a local controller LC for controlling the temperatures of the heating units HP and the cooling units CP arranged in its uppermost part.
  • [0077]
    Each of the thermal processing groups 120 and 121 in the development processing block 12 has a stack of two heating units HP and two cooling units CP. Each of the thermal processing groups 120 and 121 also has a local controller LC for controlling the temperatures of the heating units HP and the cooling units CP arranged in its uppermost part.
  • [0078]
    Each of the thermal processing groups 130 and 131 in the resist cover film processing block 13 has a stack of two heating units HP and two cooling units CP. Each of the thermal processing groups 130 and 131 also has a local controller LC for controlling the temperatures of the heating units HP and the cooling units CP arranged in its uppermost part.
  • [0079]
    In the resist cover film removal block 14, the thermal processing group 140 has a vertical stack of two heating units HP and two cooling units CP, and the thermal processing group 141 has a vertical stack of two heating units HP, two cooling units CP, and substrate platforms PASS11 and PASS12. Each of the thermal processing groups 140 and 141 has a local controller LC for controlling the temperatures of the heating units HP and the cooling units CP arranged in its uppermost part.
  • [0080]
    The interface block 15 will be then described in detail using FIG. 4.
  • [0081]
    FIG. 4 is a schematic side view of the interface block 15 as viewed from the +Y side. As shown in FIG. 4, the interface block 15 has a stack of a sending buffer unit SBF and three first cleaning/drying processing units SD1 on the −X side. The interface block 15 has an edge exposure unit EEW arranged on the +X side in its upper part.
  • [0082]
    The interface block 15 has a vertical stack of a return buffer unit RBF, two placement/cooling units P-CP, and a substrate platform PASS13 at its substantially central portion. The interface block 15 has a vertical stack of three second cleaning/drying processing units SD2 on the +X side below the edge exposure unit EEW.
  • [0083]
    A sixth central robot CR6 and an interface transport mechanism IFR are provided in a lower part of the interface block 15. The sixth central robot CR6 is provided so as to be vertically movable and rotatable in an area from the sending buffer unit SBF and the first cleaning/drying processing units SD1 to the edge exposure unit EEW, the return buffer unit RBF, the placement/cooling units P-CP, and the substrate platform PASS13. The interface transport mechanism IFR is provided so as to be vertically movable and rotatable in an area from the return buffer unit RBF, the placement/cooling units P-CP, and the substrate platform PASS13 to the second cleaning/drying processing units SD2.
  • (2) Operation of Substrate Processing Apparatus
  • [0084]
    The operation of the substrate processing apparatus 500 according to the present embodiment will be then described with reference to FIGS. 1 to 4.
  • (2-1) Operation of Indexer Block to Resist Cover Film Removal Block
  • [0085]
    First, the operation of the indexer block 9 to the resist cover film removal block 14 will be briefly described.
  • [0086]
    Carriers C for storing the substrates W in multiple stages are respectively carried onto the carrier platforms 40 in the indexer block 9. The indexer robot IR takes out the unprocessed substrate W that is stored in the carrier C using the hand IRH. Thereafter, the indexer robot IR rotates in the θ direction while moving in the X direction, to place the unprocessed substrate W on the substrate platform PASS1.
  • [0087]
    Although FOUPs (Front Opening Unified Pods) are adopted as the carriers C in the present embodiment, the present invention is not limited to the same. For example, SMIF (Standard Mechanical Inter Face) pods, or OCs (Open Cassettes) that expose the stored substrates W to outside air may be used.
  • [0088]
    Furthermore, although linear-type transport robots that move their hands forward or backward by linearly sliding them to the substrate W are respectively used as the indexer robot IR, the first to sixth central robots CR1 to CR6, and the interface transport mechanism IFR, the present invention is not limited to the same. For example, multi-joint type transport robots that linearly move their hands forward and backward by moving their joints may be used.
  • [0089]
    The unprocessed substrate W placed on the substrate platform PASS1 is received by the first central robot CR1 in the anti-reflection film processing block 10. The first central robot CR1 carries the substrate W into the thermal processing group 100 or 101.
  • [0090]
    Thereafter, the first central robot CR1 takes out the thermally processed substrate W from the thermal processing group 100 or 101 and carries the substrate W into the coating processing group 50. The coating processing group 50 forms a coating of an anti-reflection film on the substrate W using the coating unit BARC in order to reduce standing waves and halation generated during the exposure processing.
  • [0091]
    The first central robot CR1 then takes out the substrate W after the coating processing from the coating processing group 50 and carries the substrate W into the thermal processing group 100 or 101. Thereafter, the first central robot CR1 takes out the thermally processed substrate W from the thermal processing group 100 or 101 and places the substrate W on the substrate platform PASS3.
  • [0092]
    The substrate W placed on the substrate platform PASS3 is received by the second central robot CR2 in the resist film processing block 11. The second central robot CR2 carries the substrate W into the thermal processing group 110 or 110.
  • [0093]
    Thereafter, the second central robot CR2 takes out the thermally processed substrate W from the thermal processing group 110 or 111 and carries the substrate W into the coating processing group 60. The coating processing group 60 forms a coating of a resist film on the substrate W that has been coated with the anti-reflection film using the coating unit RES.
  • [0094]
    The second central robot CR2 then takes out the substrate W after the coating processing from the coating processing group 60 and carries the substrate W into the thermal processing group 110 or 111. Thereafter, the second central robot CR2 takes out the thermally processed substrate W from the thermal processing group 110 or 111 and places the substrate W on the substrate platform PASS5.
  • [0095]
    The substrate W placed on the substrate platform PASS5 is received by the third central robot CR3 in the development processing block 12. The third central robot CR3 places the substrate W on the substrate platform PASS7.
  • [0096]
    The substrate W placed on the substrate platform PASS7 is received by the fourth central robot CR4 in the resist cover film processing block 13. The fourth central robot CR4 carries the substrate W into the coating processing group 80. The coating processing group 80 forms a coating of a resist cover film on the substrate W that has been coated with the resist film using the coating unit COV.
  • [0097]
    The fourth central robot CR4 then takes out the substrate W after the coating processing from the coating processing group 80 and carries the substrate W into the thermal processing group 130 or 131. Thereafter, the fourth central robot CR4 takes out the thermally processed substrate W from the thermal processing group 130 or 131 and places the substrate W on the substrate platform PASS9.
  • [0098]
    The substrate W placed on the substrate platform PASS9 is received by the fifth central robot CR5 in the resist cover film removal block 14. The fifth central robot CR5 places the substrate W on the substrate platform PASS11.
  • [0099]
    The substrate W placed on the substrate platform PASS11 is received by the sixth central robot CR6 in the interface block 15, and is subjected to predetermined processing in the interface block 15 and the exposure device 16, as described later. After the substrate W is subjected to the predetermined processing in the interface block 15 and the exposure device 16, the sixth central robot CR6 carries the substrate W into the thermal processing group 141 in the resist cover film removal block 14.
  • [0100]
    In the thermal processing group 141, the substrate W is subjected to post-exposure bake (PEB). Thereafter, the sixth central robot CR6 takes out the substrate W from the thermal processing group 141 and places the substrate W on the substrate platform PASS12.
  • [0101]
    Although the substrate W is subjected to the post-exposure bake by the thermal processing group 141 in the present embodiment, the substrate W may be subjected to post-exposure bake by the thermal processing group 140.
  • [0102]
    The substrate W placed on the substrate platform PASS12 is received by the fifth central robot CR5 in the resist cover film removal block 14. The fifth central robot CR5 carries the substrate W into the removal processing group 90. In the removal processing group 90, the resist cover film is removed.
  • [0103]
    The fifth central robot CR5 then takes out the processed substrate W from the removal processing group 90 and places the substrate W on the substrate platform PASS10.
  • [0104]
    The substrate W placed on the substrate platform PASS10 is placed on the substrate platform PASS8 by the fourth central robot CR4 in the resist cover film processing block 13.
  • [0105]
    The substrate W placed on the substrate platform PASS8 is received by the third central robot CR3 in the development processing block 12. The third central robot CR3 carries the substrate W into the development processing group 70. In the development processing group 70, the exposed substrate W is subjected to development processing.
  • [0106]
    The third central robot CR3 then takes out the substrate W after the development processing from the development processing group 70 and carries the substrate W into the thermal processing group 120 or 121. Thereafter, the third central robot CR3 takes out the thermally processed substrate W from the thermal processing group 120 or 121 and places the substrate W on the substrate platform PASS6.
  • [0107]
    The substrate W placed on the substrate platform PASS6 is placed on the substrate platform PASS4 by the second central robot CR2 in the resist film processing block 11. The substrate W placed on the substrate platform PASS4 is placed on the substrate platform PASS2 by the first central robot CR1 in the anti-reflection film processing block 10.
  • [0108]
    The substrate W placed on the substrate platform PASS2 is stored in the carrier C by the indexer robot IR in the indexer block 9. Each processing for the substrate W in the substrate processing apparatus 500 is thus terminated.
  • (2-2) Operation of Interface Block
  • [0109]
    The operation of the interface block 15 will be then described.
  • [0110]
    As described in the foregoing, the substrate W carried into the indexer block 9 is subjected to predetermined processing, and is then placed on the substrate platform PASS11 in the resist cover film removal block 14 (FIG. 1).
  • [0111]
    The substrate W placed on the substrate platform PASS11 is received by the sixth central robot CR6 in the interface block 15. The sixth central robot CR6 carries the substrate W into the edge exposure unit EEW (FIG. 4). In the edge exposure unit EEW, a peripheral portion of the substrate W is subjected to exposure processing.
  • [0112]
    The sixth central robot CR6 then takes out the substrate W after the exposure processing from the edge exposure unit EEW and carries the substrate W into any one of the first cleaning/drying processing units SD1. In the first cleaning/drying processing unit SD1, the substrate W before the exposure processing is subjected to cleaning and drying processing, as described above.
  • [0113]
    Here, a time period for the exposure processing by the exposure device 16 is ordinarily longer than those for other processing and transporting processes. As a result, the exposure device 16 cannot accept the subsequent substrates W in many cases. In this case, the substrate W is temporarily stored in the sending buffer unit SBF (FIG. 4). In the present embodiment, the sixth central robot CR6 takes out the substrate W after the cleaning and drying processing from the first cleaning/drying processing unit SD1 and transports the substrate W to the sending buffer unit SBF.
  • [0114]
    The sixth central robot CR6 then takes out the substrate W stored in the sending buffer unit SBF and carries the substrate W into the placement/cooling unit P-CP. The substrate W carried into the placement/cooling unit P-CP is kept at the same temperature as that in the exposure device 16 (for example, 23 C.).
  • [0115]
    In a case where the exposure device 16 has a sufficient processing speed, the substrate W need not be stored in the sending buffer unit SBF but transported to the placement/cooling unit P-CP from the first cleaning/drying processing unit SD1.
  • [0116]
    The substrate W kept at the above-mentioned predetermined temperature in the placement/cooling unit P-CP is then received with the upper hand H1 of the interface transport mechanism IFR (FIG. 4) and carried into a substrate inlet 16 a in the exposure device 16 (FIG. 1).
  • [0117]
    The substrate W that has been subjected to the exposure processing in the exposure device 16 is carried out of the substrate outlet 16 b (FIG. 1) with the lower hand H2 of the interface transport mechanism IFR (FIG. 4). The interface transport mechanism IFR carries the substrate W into any one of the second cleaning/drying processing units SD2 with the hand H2. In the second cleaning/drying processing unit SD2, the substrate W after the exposure processing is subjected to cleaning and drying processing, as described above.
  • [0118]
    The substrate W that has been subjected to the cleaning and drying processing in the second cleaning/drying processing unit SD2 is taken out with the hand H1 of the interface transport mechanism IFR (FIG. 4). The interface transport mechanism IFR places the substrate W on the substrate platform PASS13 with the hand H1.
  • [0119]
    The substrate W placed on the substrate platform PASS13 is received by the sixth central robot CR6. The sixth central robot CR6 transports the substrate W to the thermal processing group 141 in the resist cover film removal block 14 (FIG. 1).
  • [0120]
    When the resist cover film removal block 14 cannot temporarily receive the substrate W due to a failure or the like in the removal unit REM (FIG. 2), the substrate W after the exposure processing can be temporarily stored in the return buffer unit RBF.
  • [0121]
    Here, although in the present embodiment, the sixth central robot CR6 transports the substrate W among the substrate platform PASS11 (FIG. 1), the edge exposure unit EEW, the first cleaning/drying processing unit SD1, the sending buffer unit SBF, the placement/cooling unit P-CP, the substrate platform PASS13, and the thermal processing group 141, a series of such operations can be performed in a short time (e.g., 24 seconds).
  • [0122]
    Although the interface transport mechanism IFR transports the substrate W among the placement/cooling unit P-CP, the exposure device 16, the second cleaning/drying processing unit SD2, and the substrate platform PASS13, a series of such operations can be performed in a short time (e.g., 24 seconds).
  • [0123]
    As a result, this allows throughput to be reliably improved.
  • (3) Cleaning/Drying Processing Unit
  • [0124]
    The first and second cleaning/drying processing units SD1 and SD2 will be then described in detail using the drawings. Usable as the first and second cleaning/drying processing units SD1 and SD2 are ones having the same configuration.
  • (3-1) Configuration
  • [0125]
    FIG. 5 is a diagram for explaining the configuration of the first and second cleaning/drying processing units SD1 and SD2. As shown in FIG. 5, each of the first and second cleaning/drying processing units SD1 and SD2 comprises a spin chuck 621 for horizontally holding the substrate W as well as rotating the substrate W around a vertical rotation shaft passing through the center of the substrate W.
  • [0126]
    The spin chuck 621 is secured to an upper end of a rotation shaft 625, which is rotated by a chuck rotation-driving mechanism 636. An air suction path (not shown) is formed in the spin chuck 621. Air inside the air suction path is exhausted with the substrate W placed on the spin chuck 621, so that a lower surface of the substrate W is adsorbed on the spin chuck 621 under vacuum, so that the substrate W can be held in a horizontal attitude.
  • [0127]
    A first rotation motor 660 is provided outside the spin chuck 621. A first rotation shaft 661 is connected to the first rotation motor 660. A first arm 662 is connected to the first rotation shaft 661 so as to extend in the horizontal direction, and its end is provided with a liquid supply nozzle 650.
  • [0128]
    The first rotation motor 660 causes the first rotation shaft 661 to rotate while causing the first arm 662 to rotate, which causes the liquid supply nozzle 650 to move to above the substrate W held by the spin chuck 621.
  • [0129]
    A supply pipe 663 for cleaning processing is provided so as to pass through the first rotation motor 660, the first rotation shaft 661, and the first arm 662. The supply pipe 663 is connected to a cleaning liquid supply source R1 and a rinse liquid supply source R2 through a valve Va and a valve Vb, respectively.
  • [0130]
    By controlling the opening and closing of the valves Va and Vb, it is possible to select a processing liquid supplied to the supply pipe 663 and adjust the amount of the processing liquid to be supplied. In the configuration shown in FIG. 5, a cleaning liquid can be supplied to the supply pipe 663 by opening the valve Va, and a rinse liquid can be supplied to the supply pipe 663 by opening the valve Vb.
  • [0131]
    The cleaning liquid and the rinse liquid are supplied to the liquid supply nozzle 650 through the supply pipe 663 from the cleaning liquid supply source R1 and the rinse liquid supply source R2, respectively. The cleaning liquid or the rinse liquid can be thus supplied to a main surface of the substrate W. Examples of the cleaning liquid include pure water, a pure water solution containing a complex (ionized), or a fluorine-based chemical solution. Examples of the rinse liquid include pure water, carbonated water, hydrogen water, electrolytic ionic water, HFE (hydrofluoroether), and an organic-based liquid.
  • [0132]
    Furthermore, as the cleaning liquid or the rinse liquid, an immersion liquid used in the case of the exposure processing in the exposure device 16 may be employed. Examples of the immersion liquid include pure water, glycerol having a high refractive index, a liquid mixture of fine particles having a high refractive index (e.g., aluminum oxide) and pure water, and an organic-based liquid. Other examples of the immersion liquid include a pure water solution containing a complex (ionized), carbonated water, hydrogen water, electrolytic ionic water, HFE (hydrofluoroether), hydrofluoric acid, sulfuric acid, and sulfuric hyperhydration.
  • [0133]
    A second rotation motor 671 is provided outside the spin chuck 621. A second rotation shaft 671 is connected to the second rotation motor 672. A second arm 673 is connected to the second rotation shaft 672 so as to extend in the horizontal direction, and its end is provided with an inert gas supply nozzle 670.
  • [0134]
    The second rotation motor 671 causes the second rotation shaft 672 to rotate while causing the second arm 673 to rotate, which causes the inert gas supply nozzle 670 to move to above the substrate W held by the spin chuck 621.
  • [0135]
    A supply pipe 674 for drying processing is provided so as to pass through the second rotation motor 671, the second rotation shaft 672, and the second arm 673. The supply pipe 674 is connected to an inert gas supply source R3 through a valve Vc. By controlling the opening and closing of the valve Vc, it is possible to adjust the amount of the inert gas supplied to the supply pipe 674.
  • [0136]
    The inert gas is supplied to the inert gas supply nozzle 670 through the supply pipe 674 from the inert gas supply source R3. The inert gas can be thus supplied to the main surface of the substrate W. An example of the inert gas is nitrogen gas. Another gas such as air may be supplied in place of the inert gas to the inert gas supply nozzle 670.
  • [0137]
    When supplying the cleaning liquid or the rinse liquid to the main surface of the substrate W, the liquid supply nozzle 650 is positioned above the substrate W. When the inert gas is supplied to the main surface of the substrate W, the liquid supply nozzle 650 is retracted to a predetermined position.
  • [0138]
    When the cleaning liquid or the rinse liquid is supplied to the main surface of the substrate W, the inert gas supply nozzle 670 is retracted to a predetermined position. When supplying the inert gas to the main surface of the substrate W, the inert gas supply nozzle 670 is positioned above the substrate W.
  • [0139]
    The substrate W held on the spin chuck 621 is stored in a processing cup 623. A cylindrical partition wall 633 is provided inside the processing cup 623. A discharge space 631 for discharging the processing liquid (i.e., cleaning liquid or rinse liquid) used for processing the substrate W is formed so as to surround the spin chuck 621. Further, a liquid recovery space 632 for recovering the processing liquid used for processing the substrate W is formed between the processing cup 623 and the partition wall 633 so as to surround the discharge space 631.
  • [0140]
    A discharge pipe 634 for introducing the processing liquid into a liquid discharge processing device (not shown) is connected to the discharge space 631. A recovery pipe 635 for introducing the processing liquid into a recovery processing device (not shown) is connected to the liquid recovery space 632.
  • [0141]
    A guard 624 is provided above the processing cup 623 for preventing the processing liquid on the substrate W from being splashed outward. The guard 624 is shaped to be rotationally-symmetric with respect to the rotation shaft 625. An annular-shaped liquid discharge guide groove 641 with a V-shaped cross section is formed inwardly at an upper end of the guard 624.
  • [0142]
    Furthermore, a liquid recovery guide 642 having an inclined surface that is inclined outwardly downward is formed inwardly at a lower end of the guard 624. A partition wall housing groove 643 for receiving the partition wall 633 in the processing cup 623 is formed in the vicinity of an upper end of the liquid recovery guide 642.
  • [0143]
    This guard 624 is provided with a guard lifting mechanism (not shown) composed of a ball-screw mechanism or the like. The guard lifting mechanism moves the guard 624 upward and downward between a recovery position in which the liquid recovery guide 642 is opposed to outer edges of the substrate W held on the spin chuck 621 and a discharge position in which the liquid discharge guide groove 641 is opposed to the outer edges of the substrate W held on the spin chuck 621. When the guard 624 is in the recovery position (i.e., the position of the guard 624 shown in FIG. 5), the processing liquid splashed outwardly from the substrate W is introduced into the liquid recovery space 632 by the liquid recovery guide 642, and then recovered through the recovery pipe 635. On the other hand, when the guard 624 is in the discharge position, the processing liquid splashed outwardly from the substrate W is introduced into the discharge space 631 by the liquid discharge guide groove 641, and then discharged through the discharge pipe 634. The foregoing configuration causes the processing liquid to be discharged and recovered.
  • (3-2) Operation
  • [0144]
    The processing operation of the first and second cleaning/drying processing units SD1 and SD2 having the above-mentioned configuration will be then described. Note that the operation of each component in each of the cleaning/drying processing units SD1 and SD2 described below is controlled by the main controller (controller) 30 shown in FIG. 1.
  • [0145]
    When the substrate W is first carried into the cleaning/drying processing unit, the guard 624 is lowered, and the sixth central robot CR6 or the interface transport mechanism IFR shown in FIG. 1 places the substrate W on the spin chuck 621. The substrate W placed on the spin chuck 621 is held by suction.
  • [0146]
    Then, the guard 624 moves to the above-mentioned discharge position while the liquid supply nozzle 650 moves to above the center of the substrate W. Thereafter, the rotation shaft 625 rotates, which causes the substrate W held on the spin chuck 621 to rotate. Thereafter, the cleaning liquid is discharged onto an upper surface of the substrate W from the liquid supply nozzle 650. The substrate W is thus cleaned.
  • [0147]
    In the first cleaning/drying processing unit SD1, a component of the resist cover film on the substrate W is eluted in the cleaning liquid during the cleaning. In the cleaning of the substrate W, the cleaning liquid is supplied onto the substrate W while the substrate W is being rotated. In this case, the cleaning liquid on the substrate W is always moved toward a peripheral portion of the substrate W by a centrifugal force and splashed. It is thus possible to prevent the component of the resist cover film eluted in the cleaning liquid from remaining on the substrate W.
  • [0148]
    Note that the component of the resist cover film may be eluted with pure water poured onto the substrate W and kept thereon for a certain time period, for example. Alternatively, the cleaning liquid may be supplied onto the substrate W by a soft spray method using a two-fluid nozzle.
  • [0149]
    After an elapse of a predetermined time period, the supply of the cleaning liquid is stopped, and the rinse liquid is discharged from the liquid supply nozzle 650. This causes the cleaning liquid on the substrate W to be washed away. Thereafter, the rinse liquid is removed from the substrate W by a centrifugal force caused by the rotation of the rotation shaft 625, so that the substrate W is dried. The details of the drying processing of the substrate W will be described later.
  • [0150]
    Thereafter, the inert gas supply nozzle 670 is retracted to a predetermined position while the rotation of the rotation shaft 625 is stopped. The guard 624 is lowered, and the sixth central robot CR6 or the interface transport mechanism IFR shown in FIG. 1 carries the substrate W out of the cleaning/drying processing unit. The processing operation in the first and second cleaning/drying processing units SD1 and SD2 is thus terminated. It is preferable that the position of the guard 624 during the cleaning and drying processing is appropriately changed according to the necessity of recovering or discharging the processing liquid.
  • [0151]
    Although in the above-mentioned embodiment, a configuration in which the liquid supply nozzle 650 is shared between the supply of the cleaning liquid and the supply of the rinse liquid is adopted to allow both of the cleaning liquid and the rinse liquid to be supplied from the liquid supply nozzle 650, a configuration in which different nozzles are respectively used for the supply of the cleaning liquid and the supply of the rinse liquid may be also adopted. Usable as the liquid supply nozzle 650 are various nozzles such as a straight nozzle and a slit nozzle.
  • [0152]
    In a case where pure water is used as the cleaning liquid for cleaning the substrate W, drying processing, described later, may be performed using the cleaning liquid.
  • [0153]
    In a case where contamination in the substrate W is slight, the cleaning using the cleaning liquid need not be performed. In this case, a contaminant on the substrate W can be sufficiently removed by drying processing using a rinse liquid, described below.
  • (3-3) Details of Drying Processing of Substrate
  • [0154]
    The drying processing of the substrate W in the first and second cleaning/drying processing units SD1 and SD2 will be now described in detail.
  • [0155]
    Generally when the substrate W is dried utilizing a centrifugal force, a minute droplet of a rinse liquid may remain on the substrate W. The reason for this is that it becomes difficult to separate the minute droplet from the substrate W because a small centrifugal force corresponding to the mass thereof is only exerted thereon. In a case where the minute droplet adheres to the vicinity of the center of the substrate W, it becomes more difficult to remove the droplet because the centrifugal force exerted on the droplet is further reduced. In a case where the hydrophobic properties of a resist cover film on the substrate W are high, such a droplet is particularly easy to form.
  • [0156]
    In the present embodiment, the minute droplet is prevented from remaining when the substrate W is dried, which allows the rinse liquid on the substrate W to be reliably removed. The details will be described using FIGS. 6 to 8.
  • [0157]
    FIG. 6 is a diagram showing the steps of drying processing of a substrate W, and FIG. 7 is a diagram for explaining the movement of a rinse liquid during the drying processing of the substrate W. FIG. 8 is a diagram showing the rotational speed of the rotation shaft 625 (FIG. 5) in time series.
  • [0158]
    As described in the foregoing, a cleaning liquid on the substrate W is washed away with the rinse liquid after the substrate W is subjected to cleaning processing. Thereafter, the rotational speed of the rotation shaft 625 decreases. This causes the amount of the rinse liquid that is shaken off by the rotation of the substrate W to be reduced, so that a liquid layer L of the rinse liquid is formed over the entire main surface of the substrate W, as shown in FIG. 6 (a). The liquid layer L may be formed on the substrate W by stopping the supply of the rinse liquid and the rotation of the rotation shaft 625 once and then, rotating the rotation shaft 625 at a low rotational speed again. Alternatively, the liquid layer L may be formed on the substrate W with the rotation of the rotation shaft 625 stopped.
  • [0159]
    Then, the supply of the rinse liquid is stopped while the liquid supply nozzle 650 is retracted to the predetermined position. Then, the rotational speed of the rotation shaft 625 increases. In this case, a centrifugal force exerted on the center of the liquid layer L is smaller than a centrifugal force exerted on its peripheral edge. Therefore, tension balanced with the centrifugal force exerted on the peripheral edge of the liquid layer L is exerted on the center of the liquid layer L. This causes the liquid layer L to be held on the substrate W without being splashed outward. The centrifugal force is slightly larger than the tension by the increase in the rotational speed, which causes the liquid layer L to be held on the substrate with the thickness of the peripheral edge increasing and the thickness at the center decreasing, as shown in FIG. 6(b).
  • [0160]
    The inert gas supply nozzle 670 then moves to above the center of the substrate W. Inert gas is discharged toward the center of the liquid layer L from the inert gas supply nozzle 670, so that a hole H is formed at the center of the liquid layer L, as shown in FIG. 6(c). This causes the tension balanced with the centrifugal force exerted on the peripheral edge of the liquid layer L to disappear. Further, the inert gas is discharged while the rotational speed of the rotation shaft 625 further increases. Thus, the liquid layer L is moved outwardly from the substrate W, as shown in FIGS. 6 (d) and 6 (e).
  • [0161]
    At this time, the liquid layer L is integrally moved outwardly from the substrate W with its annular shape held by surface tension without being separated into a plurality of areas, as shown in FIGS. 7 (a) and 7 (c). Therefore, the formation of the minute droplet of the rinse liquid is restrained, which allows the liquid on the substrate W to be reliably removed.
  • [0162]
    Here, the details of the rotational speed of the rotation shaft 625 during the drying processing of the substrate W will be described in detail.
  • [0163]
    As shown in FIG. 8, the rotation shaft 625 is rotated at a rotational speed S1 in a time period T1. The rotational speed S1 is 10 rpm, for example. In the time period T1, the rinse liquid is supplied to the substrate W. In this case, the liquid layer L can be uniformly formed on the substrate W even in a state where the substrate W is slightly inclined to a horizontal plane. If the liquid layer L can be uniformly formed over the entire area of the substrate W, the rotation of the rotation shaft 625 may be stopped in the time period T1.
  • [0164]
    The rotation shaft 625 is then rotated at a rotational speed S2 higher than the rotational speed S1 in a time period T2. The rotational speed S2 is 10 to 100 rpm, for example. This causes the liquid layer L to spread over the entire area of the substrate W and causes the liquid layer L to be held on the substrate W by the surface tension.
  • [0165]
    The rotation shaft 625 is then rotated at a rotational speed S3 higher than the rotational speed S2 in a time period T3. The rotational speed S3 is 200 to 1000 rpm, for example. In the case of transition from the time period T2 to the time period T3, the inert gas is discharged to the substrate W. In this case, the liquid layer L can be integrally moved outwardly from the substrate W with the annular shape held.
  • [0166]
    The timing of the discharge of the inert gas may be immediately before the transition from the time period T2 to the time period T3 or immediately after the transition to the time period T3. Further, a time period during which the inert gas is discharged is 0.5 to 8 sec, for example. That is, the inert gas may be discharged in a short time period during which the hole H (see FIG. 6) is only formed in the liquid layer L. Alternatively, the inert gas may be continuously discharged until the liquid layer L is removed from the substrate W.
  • [0167]
    Note that the rotational speed of the rotation shaft 625 may be appropriately changed depending on the hydrophobic properties of a resist cover film on the substrate W, the wettability (e.g., the contact angle) of the rinse liquid, or the like. In a case where the hydrophobic properties of the resist cover film are high, for example, the liquid layer L is separated into a plurality of areas so that the droplet is easily formed. Therefore, it is preferable that the rotational speed of the rotation shaft 625 is set to a lower value.
  • [0168]
    Although in the present embodiment, the rotational speed of the rotation shaft 625 increases in three stages, i.e., the rotational speeds S1, S2, and S3, as shown in FIG. 8, the present invention is not limited to the same. The rotational speed may increase in two or four or more stages. Alternatively, the rotational speed may increase not gradually but continuously.
  • (4) Effects of the Present Embodiment (4-1) Effects of Drying Processing of Substrate after Exposure Processing
  • [0169]
    As described in the foregoing, in the substrate processing apparatus 500 according to the present embodiment, the substrate W after the exposure processing is subjected to the drying processing in the second cleaning/drying processing unit SD2 in the interface block 15. This prevents the liquid that has adhered to the substrate W during the exposure processing from dropping in the substrate processing apparatus 500.
  • [0170]
    Moreover, the particles and the like in the atmosphere are prevented from adhering to the substrate W after the exposure processing by subjecting the substrate W after the exposure processing to the drying processing, which can prevent the substrate W from being contaminated. Further, the liquid that has adhered to the substrate W is prevented from adversely affecting a film (an anti-reflection film, a resist film, and a resist cover film) on the substrate W. This can prevent processing defects in the substrate W.
  • [0171]
    Since the substrate W to which the liquid has adhered is prevented from being transported in the substrate processing apparatus 500, it is possible to prevent the liquid adhering to the substrate W during the exposure processing from influencing the atmosphere in the substrate processing apparatus 500. This facilitates the adjustment of temperature and humidity in the substrate processing apparatus 500.
  • [0172]
    Since the liquid adhering to the substrate W during the exposure processing is prevented from adhering to the indexer robot IR and the first to sixth central robots CR1 to CR6, the liquid is prevented from adhering to the substrate W before the exposure processing. This prevents the particles and the like in the atmosphere from adhering to the substrate W before the exposure processing, thereby preventing the substrate W from being contaminated. As a result, this can prevent degradation in resolution performance during the exposure processing and can prevent contamination in the exposure device 16.
  • [0173]
    It is possible to reliably prevent the components of the resist film and the resist cover film from being eluted in the cleaning liquid and the rinse liquid remaining on the substrate W while the substrate W is transported from the second cleaning/drying processing unit SD2 to the development processing group 70. This can prevent exposure patterns formed on the resist film from being deformed. As a result, it is possible to reliably prevent line definition during the development processing from being degraded.
  • [0174]
    In the second cleaning/drying processing unit SD2, the substrate W is subjected to the drying processing by forming the liquid layer L of the rinse liquid on the substrate W and integrally moving the liquid layer L outwardly from the substrate W with the annular shape held without separating the liquid layer L into a plurality of areas. In this case, the cleaning liquid and the rinse liquid on the substrate W can be reliably removed without causing the minute droplet to remain on the substrate W.
  • [0175]
    As a result, this can prevent operational troubles such as abnormalities in an electric system of the substrate processing apparatus 500 while reliably preventing processing defects in the substrate W.
  • [0176]
    The cleaning liquid and the rinse liquid on the substrate W can be reliably removed by adjusting the rotational speed of the rotation shaft 625 and the timing of the discharge of the inert gas without providing a complicated apparatus and mechanism, for example, which can inhibit the size of the second cleaning/drying processing unit SD2 and the cost of the apparatus from increasing.
  • (4-2) Effects of Cleaning Processing of Substrate after Exposure Processing
  • [0177]
    In the second cleaning/drying processing unit SD2, the substrate W is subjected to the cleaning processing before the drying processing. In this case, even if the particles and the like in the atmosphere adhere to the substrate W to which the liquid adheres during the exposure processing, the attachment can be removed. This prevents the substrate W from being contaminated. As a result, it is possible to reliably prevent processing defects in the substrate.
  • (4-3) Effects of Coating Processing of Resist Cover Film
  • [0178]
    Before the substrate W is subjected to the exposure processing in the exposure device 16, the resist cover film is formed on the resist film in the resist cover film processing block 13. In this case, even if the substrate W is brought into contact with the liquid in the exposure device 16, the resist cover film prevents the resist film from coming into contact with the liquid, which prevents the component of the resist from being eluted in the liquid.
  • (4-4) Effects of Removal Processing of Resist Cover Film
  • [0179]
    Before the substrate W is subjected to the development processing in the development processing block 12, removal processing of the resist cover film is performed in the resist cover film removal block 14. In this case, the resist cover film is reliably removed before the development processing, which allows the development processing to be reliably performed.
  • (4-5) Effects of Cleaning and Drying Processing of Substrate Before Exposure Processing
  • [0180]
    Before the substrate W is subjected to the exposure processing in the exposure device 16, the substrate W is subjected to the cleaning processing in the first cleaning/drying processing unit SD1. During the cleaning processing, a part of the component of the resist cover film on the substrate W is eluted in the cleaning liquid or the rinse liquid and is washed away. Even if the substrate W is brought into contact with the liquid in the exposure device 16, therefore, the component of the resist cover film on the substrate W is hardly eluted in the liquid. Further, it is possible to remove the particles and the like that have adhered to the substrate W before the exposure processing. As a result, this prevent contamination in the exposure device 16.
  • [0181]
    The substrate W is subjected to the drying processing after being subjected to the cleaning processing in the first cleaning/drying processing unit SD1. This causes the cleaning liquid or the rinse liquid that has adhered to the substrate W during the cleaning processing to be removed, which prevents the particles and the like in the atmosphere from adhering to the substrate W after the cleaning processing again. As a result, the contamination in the exposure device 16 can be reliably prevented.
  • [0182]
    Furthermore, the cleaning liquid or the rinse liquid that has adhered to the substrate W during the cleaning processing is removed, which prevents the cleaning liquid or the rinse liquid from soaking into the resist cover film or the resist film on the substrate W before the exposure processing. This can prevent degradation in resolution performance during the exposure processing.
  • [0183]
    In the first cleaning/drying processing unit SD1, the substrate W is subjected to the drying processing by forming the liquid layer L on the substrate W and integrally moving the liquid layer L outwardly from the substrate W with the annular shape held without separating the liquid layer L into a plurality of areas. In this case, the cleaning liquid and the rinse liquid on the substrate W can be reliably removed without causing the minute droplet to remain on the substrate W.
  • (4-6) Effects of Interface Block
  • [0184]
    In the interface block 15, the sixth central robot CR6 carries the substrate W into and out of the edge exposure unit EEW, carries the substrate W into and out of the first cleaning/drying processing unit SD1, carries the substrate W into and out of the sending buffer unit SBF, carries the substrate W into the placement/cooling unit P-CP, and carries the substrate W out of the substrate platform PASS13, and the interface transport mechanism IFR carries the substrate W out of the placement/cooling unit P-CP, carries the substrate W into and out of the exposure device 16, carries the substrate W into and out of the second cleaning/drying processing unit SD2, and carries the substrate W into the substrate platform PASS13. In this case, since the substrate W is efficiently transported by the sixth central robot CR6 and the interface transport mechanism IFR, throughput can be improved.
  • [0185]
    The interface block 15 has the first cleaning/drying processing unit SD1 and the second cleaning/drying processing unit SD2 respectively provided in the vicinities of its side surfaces in the X direction. In this case, the first and second cleaning/drying processing units SD1 and SD2 can be easily maintained from a side surface of the substrate processing apparatus 500 without removing the interface block 15.
  • [0186]
    The first and second cleaning/drying processing units SD1 and SD2 allow the substrate W before and after the exposure processing to be cleaned and dried within one processing block. Consequently, it is possible to prevent the footprint of the substrate processing apparatus 500 from being increased.
  • (4-7) Effects of Interface Transport Mechanism
  • [0187]
    In the interface block 15, the hand H1 of the interface transport mechanism IFR is used in transporting the substrate W from the placement/cooling unit P-CP to the exposure device 16 and in transporting the substrate W from the second cleaning/drying processing unit SD2 to the substrate platform PASS13, and the hand H2 of the interface transport mechanism IFR is used in transporting the substrate W from the exposure device 16 to the second cleaning/drying processing unit SD2.
  • [0188]
    That is to say, the hand H1 is used for transporting the substrate W having no liquid adhering thereto, and the hand H2 is used for transporting the substrate W having a liquid adhering thereto.
  • [0189]
    In this case, since the liquid that has adhered to the substrate W during the exposure processing is prevented from adhering to the hand H1, the liquid is prevented from adhering to the substrate W before the exposure processing. In addition, since the hand H2 is provided below the hand H1, the liquid can be prevented from adhering to the hand H1 and the substrate W held thereby even if the liquid drops from the hand H2 and the substrate W held thereby. This can reliably prevent the liquid from adhering to the substrate W before the exposure processing. As a result, the substrate W can be reliably prevented from being contaminated before the exposure processing.
  • (4-8) Effects of Provision of Placement/Cooling Unit P-CP
  • [0190]
    The interface block 15 is provided with the placement/cooling unit P-CP having both the function of placing the substrate W before the exposure processing by the exposure device 16 and the function of cooling the substrate W for adjusting the temperature of the substrate W to the temperature in the exposure device 16, which makes it possible to reduce the number of transporting processes. When the exposure processing is performed by the liquid immersion method in which strict temperature control of the substrate is required, it is important to reduce the number of transporting processes.
  • [0191]
    As a result of the foregoing, throughput can be improved, and reliability can be also improved because the number of access points for transportation can be reduced.
  • [0192]
    In particular, the two placement/cooling units P-CP are provided, which makes it possible to further improve the throughput.
  • (5) Other Examples of Cleaning/Drying Processing Unit
  • [0193]
    Although the liquid supply nozzle 650 and the inert gas supply nozzle 670 are separately provided in the cleaning/drying processing unit shown in FIG. 5, the liquid supply nozzle 650 and the inert gas supply nozzle 670 may be integrally formed, as shown in FIG. 9. In this case, the liquid supply nozzle 650 and the inert gas supply nozzle 670 need not be separately moved when a substrate W is subjected to cleaning processing or drying processing, which makes it possible to simplify a driving mechanism.
  • [0194]
    Furthermore, a layer thickness sensor 680 for detecting the thickness of a liquid layer L on a substrate W may be provided within first and second cleaning/drying processing units SD1 and SD2, as shown in FIG. 10. Note that the layer thickness sensor 680 includes a light projector 680 a and a light receiver 680 b.
  • [0195]
    In the first and second cleaning/drying processing units SD1 and SD2 shown in FIG. 10, the thickness in the vicinity of the center of the liquid layer L formed on the substrate W is detected by the layer thickness sensor 680, and the timing of the discharge of inert gas and the timing of the rise of a rotation shaft 625 are adjusted depending on the change in the thickness.
  • [0196]
    Specifically, in a case where the rotation shaft 625 is rotating at a low rotational speed S2 (see FIG. 8) after the liquid layer L is formed on the substrate W, when the thickness in the vicinity of the center of the liquid layer L that is detected by the layer thickness sensor 680 is smaller than a threshold value previously set, the inert gas is discharged toward the liquid layer L, and the rotational speed of the rotation shaft 625 increases.
  • [0197]
    In this case, the inert gas can be discharged in a state where the center of the liquid layer L is sufficiently thinned and the liquid layer L is not separated into a plurality of areas by a centrifugal force. Therefore, a hole H is reliably formed at the center of the liquid layer L, so that the liquid layer L can be integrally moved outwardly from the substrate W with its annular shape held. This allows a rinse liquid on the substrate W to be reliably removed. Note that the control of the operations is carried out by the main controller 30 shown in FIG. 1.
  • [0198]
    Each of parts may be controlled, by previously making a database of the values of physical properties such as the hydrophobic properties of a resist cover film and the wettability (e.g., the contact angle) of the rinse liquid and automatically calculating the most suitable timing of the discharge of the inert gas and the most suitable rotational speed of the rotation shaft 625 appropriately depending on the values of the physical properties, on the basis of their calculated values.
  • (6) Examples of Cleaning/Drying Processing Unit Using Two-Fluid Nozzle (6-1) Configuration and Operation in a Case where Two-Fluid Nozzle is Used
  • [0199]
    Although description was made of a case where the liquid supply nozzle 650 and the inert gas supply nozzle 670 as shown in FIG. 5 are used in the first and second cleaning/drying processing units SD1 and SD2 in the above-mentioned embodiment, one or both of the liquid supply nozzle 650 and the inert gas supply nozzle 670 may be replaced with a two-fluid nozzle as shown in FIG. 11.
  • [0200]
    FIG. 11 is a vertical sectional view showing an example of the internal configuration of a two-fluid nozzle 950 used for cleaning and drying processing. From the two-fluid nozzle 950, a gas, a liquid, and a fluid mixture of a gas and a liquid can be selectively discharged.
  • [0201]
    The two-fluid nozzle 950 in the present embodiment is referred to as an external-mix type two-fluid nozzle. The external-mix type two-fluid nozzle 950 shown in FIG. 11 comprises an internal main body 311 and an external main body 312. The internal main body 311 is composed of quartz, for example, and the external main body 312 is composed of fluororesin such as PTFE (polytetrafluoroethylene), for example.
  • [0202]
    A cylindrical liquid passage 311 b is formed along a central axis of the internal main body 311. A supply pipe 663 for cleaning processing shown in FIG. 5 is attached to the liquid passage 311 b. This causes a cleaning liquid or a rinse liquid that is supplied from the supply pipe 663 to be introduced into the liquid passage 311 b.
  • [0203]
    A liquid discharge port 311 a communicating with the liquid passage 311 b is formed at a lower end of the internal main body 311. The internal main body 311 is inserted into the external main body 312. Note that respective upper ends of the internal main body 311 and the external main body 312 are joined to each other, and their respective lower ends are not joined to each other.
  • [0204]
    A cylindrical gas passage 312 b is formed between the internal main body 311 and the external main body 312. A gas discharge port 312 a communicating with the gas passage 312 b is formed at the lower end of the external main body 312. A supply pipe 674 for drying processing shown in FIG. 5 is attached to a peripheral wall of the external main body 312 so as to communicate with the gas passage 312 b. This causes an inert gas supplied from the supply pipe 674 to be introduced into the gas passage 312 b.
  • [0205]
    The gas passage 312 b decreases in diameter downward in the vicinity of the gas discharge port 312 a. As a result, the flow rate of the inert gas is accelerated, and is discharged from the gas discharge port 312 a.
  • [0206]
    The cleaning liquid discharged from the liquid discharge port 311 a and the inert gas discharged from the gas discharge port 312 a are mixed outside the vicinity of a lower end of the two-fluid nozzle 950, and an atomized fluid mixture including a minute droplet of the cleaning liquid is produced.
  • [0207]
    FIG. 12 is a diagram for explaining a method of subjecting a substrate W to cleaning and drying processing using the two-fluid nozzle 950 shown in FIG. 11.
  • [0208]
    First, the substrate W is held by suction on the spin chuck 621 and rotates as the rotation shaft 625 rotates, as shown in FIG. 5. In this case, the rotational speed of the rotation shaft 625 is approximately 500 rpm, for example.
  • [0209]
    In this state, an atomized fluid mixture of a cleaning liquid and an inert gas is discharged to an upper surface of the substrate W from the two-fluid nozzle 950, and the two-fluid nozzle 950 gradually moves from above the center of the substrate W to above a peripheral portion thereof, as shown in FIG. 12 (a). This causes the fluid mixture to be sprayed on the entire surface of the substrate W from the two-fluid nozzle 950, so that the substrate W is cleaned.
  • [0210]
    The supply of the fluid mixture is then stopped, so that a rinse liquid is discharged onto the substrate W from the two-fluid nozzle 950, as shown in FIG. 12 (b). This causes a liquid layer L of the rinse liquid to be formed over the entire surface of the substrate W. The rotation of the rotation shaft 625 may be stopped to form the liquid layer L over the entire main surface of the substrate W. Alternatively, in a case where pure water is used as the cleaning liquid in the fluid mixture for cleaning the substrate W, the liquid layer L may be formed using the cleaning liquid.
  • [0211]
    After the liquid layer L is formed, the supply of the rinse liquid is stopped. Then, the inert gas is discharged onto the substrate W from the two-fluid nozzle 950, as shown in FIG. 12 (c). The rotational speed of the rotation shaft 625 and the timing of the discharge of the inert gas are similarly adjusted, as in a case where the liquid supply nozzle 650 and the inert gas supply nozzle 670 are used (see FIGS. 6 to 8).
  • [0212]
    Therefore, the liquid layer L is integrally moved outwardly from the substrate W with its annular shape held without being separated into a plurality of areas. This allows the cleaning liquid and the rinse liquid on the substrate W to be reliably removed without causing the minute droplet of the rinse liquid to remain on the substrate W.
  • (6-2) Effect of Use of Two-Fluid Nozzle
  • [0213]
    The fluid mixture discharged from the two-fluid nozzle 950 shown in FIG. 11 includes the minute droplet of the cleaning liquid. Even when the main surface of the substrate W is irregular, therefore, dirt that has adhered to the substrate W is stripped by the minute droplet of the cleaning liquid. This allows the dirt on the main surface of the substrate W to be reliably removed. Even when the wettability of a film on the substrate W is low, the dirt on the main surface of the substrate W is stripped by the minute droplet of the cleaning liquid, so that the dirt on the main surface of the substrate W can be reliably removed.
  • [0214]
    Particularly a case where the two-fluid nozzle is used for the first cleaning/drying processing unit SD1, therefore, even if a solvent or the like in a resist film or a resist cover film sublimes in the heating unit HP and the sublimate adheres to the substrate W again at the time of thermal processing on the substrate W by the heating unit HP before exposure processing, the attachment can be reliably removed in the first cleaning/drying processing unit SD1. This can reliably prevent contamination in the exposure device 16.
  • [0215]
    By adjusting the flow rate of the inert gas, detergency in cleaning the substrate W can be easily adjusted. In a case where an organic film (resist film or resist cover film) on the substrate W has the property of being easily damaged, therefore, the organic film on the substrate W can be prevented from being damaged by weakening the detergency. In a case where the dirt on the main surface of the substrate W is tough, the dirt on the main surface of the substrate W can be reliably removed by strengthening the detergency. The detergency is thus adjusted in conformity with the property of the organic film on the substrate W and the degree of the dirt, which allows the substrate W to be reliably cleaned while preventing the organic film on the substrate W from being damaged.
  • [0216]
    In the external-mix type two-fluid nozzle 950, the fluid mixture is produced by mixing the cleaning liquid and the inert gas outside the two-fluid nozzle 950. The inert gas and the cleaning liquid are separated to respectively flow in different flow paths inside the two-fluid nozzle 950. This allows the inert gas to be individually discharged from the two-fluid nozzle 950 without causing the cleaning liquid to remain within the gas passage 312 b. Further, the rinse liquid is supplied from the supply pipe 663, so that the rinse liquid can be individually discharged from the two-fluid nozzle 950. Consequently, the fluid mixture, the inert gas, and the rinse liquid can be selectively discharged from the two-fluid nozzle 950. □
  • [0217]
    In a case where the two-fluid nozzle 950 is used, a nozzle for supplying the cleaning liquid or the rinse liquid to the substrate W and a nozzle for supplying the inert gas to the substrate W need not be separately provided, respectively. This allows the substrate W to be reliably cleaned and dried in a simple configuration.
  • [0218]
    Although in the foregoing description, the rinse liquid is supplied to the substrate W by the two-fluid nozzle 950, the rinse liquid may be supplied to the substrate W using separate nozzles.
  • [0219]
    Although in the foregoing description, the inert gas is supplied to the substrate W by the two-fluid nozzle 950, the inert gas may be supplied to the substrate W using separate nozzles.
  • (7) Another Embodiment
  • [0220]
    The resist cover film processing block 13 need not be provided. In this case, a part of a component of a resist film is eluted in a cleaning liquid during cleaning processing in a first cleaning/drying processing unit SD1. Even if the resist film is brought into contact with the liquid in an exposure device 16, the component of the resist film is prevented from being eluted in the liquid. As a result, contamination in the exposure device 16 can be prevented.
  • [0221]
    If the resist cover film processing block 13 is not provided, the resist cover film removal block 14 need not be provided. This allows the footprint of a substrate processing apparatus 500 to be reduced. In a case where the resist cover film processing block 13 and the resist cover film removal block 14 are not provided, a substrate W is subjected to post-exposure bake in a thermal processing group 121 for development in a development processing block 12.
  • [0222]
    Although in the above-mentioned embodiment, the first and second cleaning/drying processing units SD1 and SD2 are arranged within the interface block 15, at least one of the first and second cleaning/drying processing units SD1 and SD2 may be arranged within the resist cover film removal block 14 shown in FIG. 1. Alternatively, a cleaning/drying processing block including at least one of the first and second cleaning/drying processing units SD1 and SD2 may be provided between the resist cover film removal block 14 and the interface block 15 shown in FIG. 1.
  • [0223]
    The respective numbers of first cleaning/drying processing units SD1, second cleaning/drying processing units SD2, coating units BARC, RES, and COV, developing processing units DEV, removal units REM, heating units HP, cooling units CP, and placement/cooling units P-CP may be appropriately changed depending on the processing speed of each of the processing blocks. In a case where two edge exposure units EEW are provided, for example, the number of second cleaning/drying processing units SD2 may be set to two.
  • (8) Correspondences Between Each Constituent Element in the Claims and Each Element in the Embodiments
  • [0224]
    In the following paragraphs, non-limiting examples of correspondences between various elements recited in the claims below and those described above with respect to various preferred embodiments of the present invention are explained.
  • [0225]
    In the embodiments described above, the anti-reflection film processing block 10, the resist film processing block 11, the development processing block 12, the resist cover film processing block 13, and the resist cover film removal block 14 are examples of a processing section, the interface block 15 is an example of an interface, and the first cleaning/drying processing unit SD1 and the second cleaning/drying processing unit SD2 are examples of a drying processing unit.
  • [0226]
    Furthermore, the spin chuck 621 is an example of a substrate holding device, the rotation shaft 625 is an example of a rotation driving device, the liquid supply nozzle 650 is an example of a liquid layer formation device, the inert gas supply nozzle 670 is an example of a gas discharge device, the rotational speed S1 is an example of a first rotational speed, the rotational speed S3 is an example of a second rotational speed, the rotational speed S2 is an example of third and fourth rotational speeds, the layer thickness sensor 680 is an example of a layer thickness detector, and the main controller 30 is an example of a controller.
  • [0227]
    As each of various elements recited in the claims, various other elements having configurations or functions described in the claims can be also used.
  • [0228]
    While preferred embodiments of the present invention have been described above, it is to be understood that variations and modifications will be apparent to those skilled in the art without departing the scope and spirit of the present invention. The scope of the present invention, therefore, is to be determined solely by the following claims.
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Classifications
U.S. Classification34/317, 414/217.1, 34/560, 34/58, 34/337, 34/418, 414/806
International ClassificationH01L21/677, F26B5/08
Cooperative ClassificationH01L21/67051, H01L21/67225
European ClassificationH01L21/67S2D4W4, H01L21/67S2Z10L
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Jul 25, 2007ASAssignment
Owner name: DAINIPPON SCREEN MFG. CO., LTD., JAPAN
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:KANEYAMA, KOJI;SHIGEMORI, KAZUHITO;KANAOKA, MASASHI;AND OTHERS;REEL/FRAME:019607/0736;SIGNING DATES FROM 20070521 TO 20070711