UCPSS reports on challenges and future trends in ultraclean processing

(PresseBox) (Leuven, ) At the recent 11th edition of the international symposium on Ultra Clean Processing of Semiconductor Surfaces (UCPSS), scientists and experts presented and discussed the state-of-the-art and future directions of cleaning for micro- and nanoelectronic applications as well as of cleaning for silicon photovoltaic applications.

UCPSS is a bi-annual conference organized by imec. Since it was first organized in 1992, it has become the largest symposium on ultraclean processing. This year's (11th) edition was held on September 17-19 in the ICC in Ghent (Belgium). The program consisted of 48 oral contributed presentations and 17 poster presentations. In addition, 7 leading experts shared their exciting findings and insights in invited presentations. UCPSS gathered 260 specialists representing most of the major IDMs (logic, memory and foundry), the leading equipment manufacturers, material suppliers, academia and research consortia. The symposium was preceeded by tutorial lectures for those who wanted to improve their overall knowledge on the matter. The attendance and the quality of the contributions is a clear indication of the importance of cleaning processes in current and future technology generations.

Some of the issues that were covered in UCPSS2012 were:
- pattern collapse during wetting and drying, which is critical for fragile, ultrafine nanostructures;
- various aspects of megasonic cleaning.

In this edition there were more papers dealing with back-end-of-line (BEOL) issues than with front-end-of-line (FEOL).

The organizing committee actively fosters student participattion. Outstanding student papers awards were granted to:
- Amir-Hossein Tamaddon (imec and KU Leuven, Belgium), for his paper 'Evaluation of high-speed linear air-knife based wafer dryer';
- Sefano Granata (imec and KU Leuven, Belgium), for his paper 'Improved surface cleaning by in-situ hydrogen plasma for amorphous/crystalline silicon heterojunction solar cells'.

The best student paper award was granted to:
- Elisabeth Camerotto (imec, Belgium), for her contribution 'Towards an improved megasonic cleaning process: influence of surface tension on bubble activity in acoustic fields'.
(see Awards for more info) [link awards]

The content of the presentations are published in the proceedings 'Ultra Clean Processing of Semiconductor Surfaces XI', Solid State Phenomena, Vol 195 (link to http://www.ttp.net/...).

The city of Ghent provided an ideal setting for an enjoyable intense 3-day symposium. Ghent has a rich heritage of historical buildings and hosts a large university, several high-level schools as well as a lot of high-tech businesses, Several of the participants will remember having a side walk diner facing the well conserved medieval castle of the Duke of Flanders 'Gravensteen'.

More information on future and past editions of UCPSS can be found on: www.ucpss.org.


Kapeldreef 75
B-3001 Leuven
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