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Technical Information and FAQs Ask the Experts

Senior-chemist-surface-chemistrySurface Chemistry Discoveries (SCD) offers technical information and answers to frequently asked questions about surface chemistry, surface preparation, and cleaning applications. SCD's mission is to develop and commercialize cleaning/preparation technologies. Surface Chemistry Discoveries' founder and CEO Shahri Naghshineh, along with other SCD team members, with over 35 years of experience in developing products and success bringing them to market, are experts in surface chemistry and its applications.

Below are some frequently asked questions (FAQs) about this science and technology as well as about our products and services. We welcome additional questions and discussion - use our contact form or email your questions to: info@surfchem.net.


Q: What is the importance/purpose of Surface Preparation?
A: The foundation of any coating is the surface preparation. It is the most important factor in developing a successful coating system. The purpose of surface preparation is to remove all contaminants that can interfere with adhesion and to develop a surface roughness to promote mechanical bond. It is well recognized that you can make a poor coating perform with excellent pretreatment, but you cannot make an excellent coating perform with poor pretreatment.

Q: I have noticed that my HDA-based product for post etch residual removal in a wet bench (at 75C) appears to lose its cleaning ability after 18 hours? What could be the reason?
A: HDA-based chemistries are "reactive-type" chemistries, i.e., the hydroxylamine component is a reducing agent at high pH, but is very dependent on the water concentration. As the water is evaporated the chemistry is less efficient for cleaning. Some fabs will increase the bath temperature to compensate for the lower cleaning activity (but this will also accelerate the water evaporation)

Q: I'd like to understand more about how your products would be used in back-end-of-the-line (BEOL) surface preparation for semiconductor fabrication.
A: In semiconductor fabrication, back-end-of-the-line (BEOL) surface preparation prior to deposition/coating of the next layer has become increasingly critical. As an example, following aluminum etching, plasma ashing is used. This ashing rapidly oxidizes organic resist and in most cases leaves an inorganic residue that contains aluminum oxide, silicon oxide, titanium oxide and aluminum fluoride, among other components. The next process step is to remove the residue that remains; this is referred to as Post Etch/Post Ash residue removal. Typically, the clean/prep step and the surface preparation step for Aluminum (A) based substrates is done by using heated solvent blends containing, for example, NMP (n-methyl pyrollidone mixed with amines such as Hydroxylamine. This step is usually followed by a rinse, using a non-polar solvent such as Isopropyl alcohol (IPA) to reduce further corrosion potential. We have developed aqueous and semi-aqueous residue removers and surface preparation formulations which will significantly lower the cost of ownership (CoO) of the clean process. Our products are compatible with metals such as Ti and the exotic new more porous low-K dielectrics.

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Contact Surface Chemistry Discoveries - Your Surface Chemistry Experts
Click Here to Contact Surface Chemistry Discoveries for assistance with your surface chemistry, surface preparation or hard surface cleaning application, or to ask a question.