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Next-generation etching processes for semiconductor manufacturing exploit the potential of a variety of operating conditions, including cryogenic conditions at which high etch rates of silicon and very low etch rates of the photoresist are achieved. Thus, tight control of wafer temperature must be maintained. However, large and fast changes in the operating conditions make the wafer temperature control very challenging to be performed using typical etch cooling systems. The selection and evaluation of control tunings, material, and operating costs must be considered for next-generation etching processes under different operating strategies. These evaluations can be performed using digital twin environments (which we define in this paper to be a model that captures the major characteristics expected of a typical industrial process). Motivated by this, this project discusses the development of a computational fluid dynamics (CFD) model of a wafer temperature control (WTC) system that we will refer to as a “digital twin” due to its ability to capture major characteristics of typical wafer temperature control processes. The steps to develop the digital twin using the fluid simulation software ANSYS Fluent are described. Mesh and time independence tests are performed with a subsequent benchmark of the proposed ANSYS model with etch cooling system responses that meet expectations of a typical industrial cooling system. In addition, to quickly test different operating strategies, we propose a reduced-order model in Python based on ANSYS simulation data that is much faster to simulate than the ANSYS model itself. The reduced-order model captures the major features of the WTC system demonstrated in the CFD simulation results. Once the operating strategy is selected, this could be implemented in the digital twin using ANSYS to view flow and temperature profiles in depth.


Complex Fluids | Process Control and Systems


© 2023 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd on behalf of Institution of Chemical Engineers (IChemE). This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (