Developing

One of the most critical steps during a typical photolithographic process involves developing the exposed resist. Various parameters, such as developer temperature and developing time, influence the geometry and profile shape of the critical structures. For this reason, special attention has to be paid to selecting the right developing technique and the parameters used. At SUSS MicroTec, spray developing and puddle developing are the techniques mainly applied, due to the advantages they offer in terms of technology and economy.

Puddle Developing

This process involves dispensing a defined quantity of developer to the exposed substrate, gently spinning it to spread the developer. Due to the surface tension of the developing agent, a convex puddle is formed on the wafer. Once developing time is completed, the wafer is rotated quickly to spin off the developer agent. The wafer is subsequently rinsed with deionized water and dried, once again at a high rotation speed. The main advantage of the technique is that only very little developing agent is required while maintaining excellent process results.

Puddle developing is no longer feasible when the developing agent becomes saturated, for example when a large quantity of photoresist needs to be removed or a high structural topography prevents exchange of the developer. In such cases, a multi-stage puddle developing process or spray developing is used.

Features and Benefits

  • Minimal chemical consumption

Fully Automated Systems

Manual Systems

* These systems offer additional application options for a number of wet chemical processes.

Spray Developing

Spray developing involves low-speed rotation of the substrate as it is developed. The exposed areas are continuously nozzle-sprayed with fresh developing agent to prevent the developer from becoming saturated. This technique offers advantages over puddle developing in processes involving thick photoresists and large surfaces to be developed. At the end of the process, the substrate is rinsed with deionized water and then spun dried.

Features and Benefits

  • Uniform developing of the entire wafer surface even with thick resist layers

Fully Automated Systems

Manual Systems

* Uniform developing of the entire wafer surface even with thick resist layers

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