Eco-Snow Systems, one of the leading suppliers of dry, CO2-based wafer-cleaning tools and process, has formed a joint venture development programme with Belgian nanoelectronics research centre IMEC, to develop and study photoresist and particle removal processes using CO2-based cryogenic cleaning systems.

An affiliate of the Linde acquired BOC Group plc, Eco-Snow will partner IMEC to assess the effectiveness of solid aerosol cleaning in conjunction with solvent-based, non-oxidizing wet chemistries in removing ion-implanted photoresist and post low-k etch resist in front-and-back-end-of-line integrated device manufacturing process.

IMEC is Europe’s leading independent nanoelectronics research institute offering joint R&D programmes 3-10 years ahead of industrial needs.

Souvik Banerjee, director of technology for Eco-Snow, said, “This joint development programme gives Eco-Snow a unique opportunity to develop and validate the effectiveness of removing ion-plant and low-k etch resist by combining CO2 solid-aerosol-based processes with non-oxidizing, solvent chemistries IMEC is studying. It is particularly timely, as wafer manufacturers look for methods of removing ion-implanted photoresist with minimal silicon consumption and attack to transistor metal gates – a key concern in manufacturing of complementary metal oxide semiconductor-based devices.”

Successful electronic devices depend on the removal of photoresist and nanometer-sized particles several times during the manufacturing process, which involves industrial gases.

Joe Clarke, general manager of Eco-Snow systems, said, “Eco-Snow’s solid CO2 based aerosol process is a key step in several manufacturing processes such as photomask, MRAM, MEMS, compound semiconductor based devices and back-end assemblies such as imaging devices.”