Multiscale Computational Fluid Dynamics Modeling of Thermal and Plasma Atomic Layer Deposition: Application to Chamber Design and Process Control
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Multiscale Computational Fluid Dynamics Modeling of Thermal and Plasma Atomic Layer Deposition: Application to Chamber Design and Process Control


Facilitated by the increasing importance and demand of semiconductors for the smartphoneand even the automobile industry, thermal atomic layer deposition (ALD) has gained tremendous industrial interest as it offers a way to efficiently deposit thin-films with ultra-high conformity. It is chosen largely due to its superior ability to deliver ultra-conformal dielectric thin-films with high aspect-ratio surface structures, which are encountered more and more often in the novel design of metal-oxide-semiconductor field-effect transistors (MOSFETs) in the NAND (Not-And)-type flash memory devices. Based on the traditional thermal ALD method, the plasma enhanced atomic layer deposition (PEALD) allows for lower operating temperature and speeds up the deposition process with the involvement of plasma species. Despite the popularity of these two methods, the development of their operation policies remains a complicated and expensive task, which motivates the construction of an accurate and comprehensive simulation model.

A series of studies have been carried out to elucidate the mechanisms and the conceptof the PEALD process. In particular, process characterization focuses on the development of a first-principles-based three-dimensional, multiscale computational fluid dynamics (CFD) model, together with reactor geometry optimizations, of SiO2 thinfilm thermal atomic layer deposition (ALD) using bis(tertiary-butylamino)silane (BTBAS) and ozone as precursors. Also, a comprehensive multiscale computational fluid dynamics (CFD) model incorporating the plasma generation chamber is used in the deposition of HfO2 thin-films utilizing tetrakis(dimethylamido) hafnium (TDMAHf) and O2 plasma as precursors.

Despite the great deal of research effort, ALD and PEALD processes have not been fullycharacterized from the view point of process control. This study aims to use previously developed multiscale CFD simulation model to design and evaluate an optimized control scheme to deal with industrially-relevant disturbances. Specifically, an integrated control scheme using a proportional-integral (PI) controller and a run-to-run (R2R) controller is proposed and evaluated to ensure the deposition of high-quality conformal thin-films. The ALD and PEALD processes under typical disturbances are simulated using the multiscale CFD model, and the integrated controllers are applied in the process domain. Using the controller parameters determined from the open-loop results, the developed integrated PI-R2R controller successfully mitigates the disturbances in the reactor with the combined effort of both controllers.

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