Fluid dynamics of thin films in semiconductor manufacturing processes
Nanostructures and nanomaterials are means to dramatically improve the performance of LEDs, solar cells, hard disk drives, laser diodes, and displays. This improvement comes from fabricating nanostructures inside or on the surface of a substrate. Fabrication of these nanostructures often involves the coating and imprinting of thin films onto a substrate. However, defects produced during the manufacturing process destroy the functionality of nanostructures. Thus, the fluid dynamics of thin fluid films involved in the manufacturing process is an interesting scientific and engineering problem. The first system studied in this dissertation is the UVNIL. It is a promising high-resolution nanopatterning process and a key technique for the commercialization of nanostructure applications. However, the UVNIL suffers from low throughput. The bottleneck is the resist filling step, so the fluid flow in UVNIL has been studied extensively to find the minimum time required for completing filling of features can be found by studying the flow behavior of resist. The second system is a thin film resist used in the lithography industry. Thin liquid coatings, which have thicknesses of tens of nanometers, are frequently used in lithography. However, generating ultra-thin films is challenging because thinner films are more susceptible to defects and disturbances. Efforts to model the evolution of film profile have been made and flow and leveling dynamics of thin-film were modelled successfully.