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What is an Excimer Lamp?

Excimer refers to the bound excited upper state of a molecule that breaks apart when a photon is emitted. Resonance excites Excimer emission from its lamps with a proprietary RF power supply. Some of the UV emission wavelengths for various gas fill and window combinations are shown below.    
Excimer Cleaning: Excimer systems use a UV cleaning process referred to as Dry Cleaning.  This process destroys and removes organic compounds with minimum impact on the process stream.  This is superior to wet cleaning as it does not produce toxic liquids.  Excimer destruction of organic compounds takes place when contaminant molecules (e.g. photoresists, resins, human skin oils, cleaning solvent residues, silicone oils, soldering flux etc.) are broken down to simple non-toxic volatile molecular fragments by the action of vacuum ultraviolet light (pictured below). Terms to Know: Photo-oxidation refers to the UV induced processes referenced above which result in the breakdown of organic compounds. Atomically clean refers to a surface condition in which the substrate has a contaminating film less than one molecule thick leaving the substrate directly exposed.   Applications: Semiconductor and Related     Dry cleaning surface of silicon wafers and photo-resist films     Dry cleaning lithography masks     Post CMP dry cleaning     Surface conditioning of high K materials     UV dry cleaning of interlayer dielectric (SOG)     Optical chemical vapour deposition (CVD)     PMMA conditioning (resist smoothing)     Post dicing dry cleaning of tape residues     Pre-wire bonding dry cleaning     Dry cleaning of backside of lead frames Plasma Display Panels     Pre-photo-resist, Pre-sputtering dry cleaning     Dry cleaning before and after wet cleaning to improve yield     PDP phosphor evaluation systems using Excimer lamps and fiber optic UV delivery systems Environmental and Medical     Toxic waste (e.g. CFC's, PCB's, dioxin's, trichloroethylene) destruction in air/water streams by photo-oxidation     Non solvent cleaning: of mechanical parts     UV/Ozone sterilization of medical instruments and medical supplies     Cleaning glass boards, PDP Fluorescent light and LCD Other     Improvement for non-exposed part surface of photo-resist film     Soft-Ashing     Pre-treatment of disc surfaces, i.e., CD and DVD     Dry cleaning ball bearings for hard disk drives     Igniter and stabilizer for plasma etcher (Excimer used as an assist light)     Post-process treatment of CMP hardening of coatings and adhesives     Generation of amorphous material, such as amorphous silicon solar cell     Printing - textile printing, finishing, printed circuits     Reforming surfaces - ceramics, surface etching     Environmental CLEAN UP   Contact Angle Measurements:     A simple way to measure the cleaning of certain surfaces.     Surface tension of water droplets will depend on surface contamination.     The angle of contact of a water drop will decrease as the surface tension decreases due to removal of surface           contamination (on a hydrophilic surfaces  that wet easily) The images below show surface cleaning on a glass microscope slide with Excimer UV        Start of Exposure (0 seconds)     After 30 Seconds of Exposure     Using the contact angle method it can be seen that 172 nm Excimer light rapidly removes contamination from glass  surfaces in 30 seconds or less.     The strong dependence on distance to the sample results from the large absorbance of O2 at 172 nm. This effect can be minimized by using a gas mixture with a smaller O2 fraction than air.   Example Measurements: Mercury vs. Excimer on a Si surface Contact Angle Measurements (see figure below)     The Excimer Lamp takes 15 sec. to change the water contact angle from 50.9 deg. to 2.6 deg.     The Mercury Lamp takes 220 sec. at almost twice the power to change the contact angle from 60 deg. to 8 deg.     Excimer VUV cleaning is much faster than Mercury cleaning
Copyright Resonance Ltd., December 2011 143 Ferndale Drive North, Barrie, ON L4N 9V9       Tel: 705-733-3633         Fax: 705-733-1388      Email:sales@resonance.on.ca 
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Advantages of Excimer:     NON TOXIC - No toxic mercury vapour in lamp.     NO HF- and other acids, no toxic organic solvents result from lamp use.     PROCESS FRIENDLY- Cannot harm vacuum process with mercury vapour.     NO FLUIDS- Process does not require fluids with consequent de-sorption and contamination problems.     EMIT SINGLE PEAK -(wavelength) radiation with high output in UV or VUV (Vacuum ultraviolet)     CAN TARGET SPECIFIC CHEMICAL     LOW ENERGY CONSUMPTION- Can be greater than 10%.     BETTER THAN LASERS - Excimer lasers are typically only 1 to 3 % efficient.     COOL OPERATION - Low operating temperature (do not heat irradiated surface).     INSTANT START - Typically start in less than 1 millisecond.     MINIMUM DAMAGE-UV absorbed in 1 micron layer
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