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LITHOGRAPHIC APPARATUS AND
METHOD OF A MANUFACTURING DEVICE
The present invention claims priority from EP Application No. 03076400.5 filed May 9, 2003, the contents of which are incorporated herein by reference in its entirety.
The present invention relates to a lithographic apparatus. The present invention also relates to a method of manufacturing a device.
The present invention also relates to a lithographic projection apparatus comprising a radiation system for providing a projection beam of radiation; a support structure for supporting a patterning device, the patterning device serving to pattern the projection beam according to a desired pattern; a substrate holder for holding a substrate said substrate holder provided with a clamp to provide a holding force for pressing the substrate against said substrate holder; releasing device constructed and arranged to apply a release force to release said substrate from said substrate holder against said holding force; and a projection system for projecting the patterned beam onto a target portion of the substrate.
dressed mirrors; in this manner, the reflected beam is patterned according to the addressing pattern of the matrixaddressable mirrors. The matrix addressing can be performed using a suitable electronic device. In both of the
5 situations described hereinabove, the patterning device can comprise one or more programmable mirror arrays. More information on mirror arrays as here referred to can be gleaned, for example, from U.S. Pat. No. 5,296,891 and U.S. Pat. No. 5,523,193, and PCT patent applications WO
10 98/38597 and WO 98/33096, which are incorporated herein by reference. In the case of a programmable mirror array, the said support structure may be embodied as a frame or table, for example, which may be fixed or movable as needed; and A programmable LCD array. An example of such a
15 construction is given in U.S. Pat. No. 5,229,872, which is incorporated herein by reference. As above, the support structure in this case may be embodied as a frame or table, for example, which may be fixed or movable as needed. For purposes of simplicity, the rest of this text may, at
20 certain locations, specifically direct itself to examples involving a mask and mask table; however, the general principles discussed in such instances should be seen in the broader context of the patterning device as hereinabove set forth.
The term "patterning device" as here employed should be broadly interpreted as referring to devices that can be used to endow an incoming radiation beam with a patterned cross-section, corresponding to a pattern that is to be created in a target portion of the substrate; the term "light valve" can also be used in this context. Generally, the said pattern will correspond to a particular functional layer in a device being created in the target portion, such as an integrated circuit or other device (see below). Examples of such patterning devices include:
A mask. The concept of a mask is well known in lithography, and it includes mask types such as binary, alternating phase-shift, and attenuated phase-shift, as well as various hybrid mask types. Placement of such a mask in the radiation beam causes selective transmission (in the case of a transmissive mask) or reflection (in the case of a reflective mask) of the radiation impinging on the mask, according to the pattern on the mask. In the case of a mask, the support structure will generally be a mask table, which ensures that the mask can be held at a desired position in the incoming radiation beam, and that it can be moved relative to the beam if so desired;
A programmable mirror array. One example of such a device is a matrix-addressable surface having a viscoelastic control layer and a reflective surface. The basic principle behind such an apparatus is that (for example) addressed areas of the reflective surface reflect incident light as diffracted light, whereas unaddressed areas reflect incident light as undiffracted light. Using an appropriate filter, the said undiffracted light can be filtered out of the reflected beam, leaving only the diffracted light behind; in this manner, the beam becomes patterned according to the addressing pattern of the matrix-addressable surface. An alternative embodiment of a programmable mirror array employs a matrix arrangement of tiny mirrors, each of which can be individually tilted about an axis by applying a suitable localized electric field, or by employing a piezoelectric actuation device. Once again, the mirrors are matrixaddressable, such that addressed mirrors will reflect an incoming radiation beam in a different direction to unad
Lithographic projection apparatus can be used, for example, in the manufacture of integrated circuits (ICs). In
30 such a case, the patterning device or patterning structures may generate a circuit pattern corresponding to an individual layer of the IC, and this pattern can be imaged onto a target portion (e.g. comprising one or more dies) on a substrate (silicon wafer) that has been coated with a layer of radiation
35 sensitive material (resist). In general, a single wafer will contain a whole network of adjacent target portions that are successively irradiated via the projection system, one at a time. In current apparatus, employing patterning by a mask on a mask table, a distinction can be made between two
40 different types of machine. In one type of lithographic projection apparatus, each target portion is irradiated by exposing the entire mask pattern onto the target portion in one go; such an apparatus is commonly referred to as a wafer stepper or step-and-repeat apparatus. In an alternative appa
45 ratus—commonly referred to as a step-and-scan apparatus— each target portion is irradiated by progressively scanning the mask pattern under the projection beam in a given reference direction (the "scanning" direction) while synchronously scanning the substrate table parallel or anti
50 parallel to this direction; since, in general, the projection system will have a magnification factor M (generally <1), the speed V at which the substrate table is scanned will be a factor M times that at which the mask table is scanned. More information with regard to lithographic devices as here
55 described can be gleaned, for example, from U.S. Pat. No. 6,046,792, which is incorporated herein by reference.
In a manufacturing process using a lithographic projection apparatus, a pattern (e.g. in a mask) is imaged onto a substrate that is at least partially covered by a layer of
60 radiation-sensitive material (resist). Prior to this imaging step, the substrate may undergo various procedures, such as priming, resist coating and a soft bake. After exposure, the substrate may be subjected to other procedures, such as a post-exposure bake (PEB), development, a hard bake and
65 measurement/inspection of the imaged features. This array of procedures is used as a basis to pattern an individual layer of a device, e.g. an IC. Such a patterned layer may then
undergo various processes such as etching, ion-implantation (doping), metallization, oxidation, chemo-mechanical polishing, etc., all intended to finish off an individual layer. If several layers are needed, then the whole procedure, or a variant thereof, will have to be repeated for each new layer. 5 Eventually, an array of devices will be present on the substrate (wafer). These devices are then separated from one another by a technique such as dicing or sawing, whence the individual devices can be mounted on a carrier, connected to pins, etc. Further information regarding such processes can 10 be obtained, for example, from the book "Microchip Fabrication: A Practical Guide to Semiconductor Processing", Third Edition, by Peter van Zant, McGraw Hill Publishing Co., 1997, ISBN 0-07-067250-4, which is incorporated herein by reference. 15
For the sake of simplicity, the projection system may hereinafter be referred to as the "lens"; however, this term should be broadly interpreted as encompassing various types of projection system, including refractive optics, reflective optics, and catadioptric systems, for example. The radiation 20 system may also include components operating according to any of these design types for directing, shaping or controlling the projection beam, and such components may also be referred to below, collectively or singularly, as a "lens". Further, the lithographic apparatus may be of a type having 25 two or more substrate tables (and/or two or more mask tables). In such "multiple stage" devices the additional tables may be used in parallel, or preparatory steps may be carried out on one or more tables while one or more other tables are being used for exposures. Dual stage lithographic 30 apparatus are described, for example, in U.S. Pat. No. 5,969,441 and the PCT application WO 98/40791, both of which are incorporated herein by reference.
Although specific reference may be made in this text to the use of the apparatus according to the invention in the 35 manufacture of ICs, it should be explicitly understood that such an apparatus has many other possible applications. For example, it may be employed in the manufacture of integrated optical systems, guidance and detection patterns for magnetic domain memories, liquid crystal display panels, 40 thin film magnetic heads, etc. The skilled artisan will appreciate that, in the context of such alternative applications, any use of the terms "reticle", "wafer" or "die" in this text should be considered as being replaced by the more general terms "mask", "substrate" and "target portion", respectively. 45
In the present document, the terms "radiation" and "beam" are used to encompass all types of electromagnetic radiation, including ultraviolet (UV) radiation (e.g. with a wavelength of 365, 248, 193, 157 or 126 nm) and extreme ultra-violet (EUV) radiation (e.g. having a wavelength in the 50 range 5-20 nm), as well as particle beams, such as ion beams or electron beams.
In the conventional lithographic projection apparatus, during photolithographic processes, the wafer is firmly clamped on the wafer holder by a holding force, that may 55 range from vacuum pressure forces, electrostatic forces, intermolecular binding forces or just gravity force. The wafer holder defines a substantially flat plane, usually in the form of a plurality of protrusions defining an even flat surface on which the wafer is clamped. Tiny variations in the 60 height of these protrusions are detrimental to image resolution, since a small deflection of the wafer from an ideal flat plane orientation may result in rotation of the wafer and a resulting overlay error due to this rotation. In addition, such height variations of the wafer holder may result in height 65 variation of the wafer that is supported thereby. During the photolithographic process, such height variations may affect
image resolution due to a limited focal distance of the projection system. Therefore it is desirable to have an ideal flat wafer holder.
It has come to the attention of the inventors that this clamping force may cause problems when the wafer is released from the wafer holder.
A conventional ejection mechanism is arranged in a way to step up an release force to a substantially high level, thereby biasing the wafer in an initial biased configuration and then wait until the wafer is released from the wafer holder through conversion of this bias energy into a releasing action. For example, when a vacuum pressure is used as clamping force, the wafer is initially bent substantially away from the wafer holder at a central position of the wafer. Then, the wafer releases from the wafer holder through conversion of this bending energy to release action, while reducing the vacuum pressure to a substantial ambient pressure when the wafer is released from the wafer holder.
Usually, to provide such release force, a tripod of three ejection pins (e-pins) is used, which engage at three spaced apart locations of the wafer and provide a releasing force to disengage the wafer from the wafer holder. The energy that is built up in the wafer during this stepping up of the release force is converted into displacement by subsequent release of the wafer surface from the wafer holder surface. However, this built up energy may also cause damage to the wafer and or wafer holder.
The invention aims to overcome this problem by providing a photolithographic machine, wherein this problem is addressed and wherein the amount of energy left, when the wafer is finally released from the wafer holder, is not detrimental for the wafer and/or wafer holder.
This aspect is achieved by a lithographic projection apparatus according to the preamble, wherein the lithographic projection apparatus comprises a controller for applying a release force that is reduced preceding to final release.
In this way, since the release force, preceding to final release, is lowered by the controller, the amount of energy that may be damaging to the wafer and/or wafer holder, in particular the amount of energy acting on the holding region for holding the wafer in a flat position, is reduced in comparison with a constant release force, wherein the wafer releases from the wafer holder with a sudden movement and wherein, after release the release force is lowered drastically instead of a lowering thereof in advance of the final release moment.
By reduction of the release force during release, the amount of energy absorbed by the wafer is lowered, so that during the release thereof, this energy is not damaging to the wafer and/or wafer holder.
Preferably the release force is controlled such that the release force at final release is less then 70% of the maximum release force. Still more preferably, the release force is controlled relative to a preset release height of the releasing device. In particular, the difference between an actual wafer height near the e-pins and a preset release height is measured. This actual height of the wafer during release determines the maximum angle of rotation of the wafer, especially in the vicinity of the final release area where the substrate finally releases from the wafer holder and is dependent on the release force applied to the wafer during final release. By keeping the angle of rotation low, the maximum amount of energy to be transferred to the wafer holder is low, thereby keeping the wafer and/or wafer holder intact since the amount of energy is kept below a threshold value that is maximally absorbable.