Megasonic cleaning of wafers in electrolyte solutions: Possible role of electro-acoustic and cavitation effects

M. Keswani, S. Raghavan, P. Deymier, S. Verhaverbeke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


Investigations have been conducted on the feasibility of removal of particles from silicon wafers in electrolyte solutions of different ionic strengths irradiated with megasonic waves. Cleaning experiments have been performed using potassium chloride (KCl) as a model electrolyte and silica particles as model contaminant particles. Particle removal efficiency (PRE) increases with KCl concentration and transducer power density and much lower power densities may be used at higher KCl concentration for a comparable level of cleaning. Enhanced cleaning in KCl solutions has been explained as due to two types of electro-acoustic potentials, namely, ionic vibration potential (IVP) and colloidal vibration potential (CVP) that arise when the sound wave propagates through the electrolyte solution. Theoretical computations have shown that the removal forces due to CVP are much larger in magnitude than those due to IVP and are comparable to van der Waals adhesion forces. The effect of ionic strength on cavitation has been investigated through the measurement of acoustic pressure in solutions using a hydrophone. Using Fourier transformation of time dependent pressure data, the size distribution of stable bubbles in KCl solutions of different concentration has been obtained.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)132-139
Number of pages8
JournalMicroelectronic Engineering
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2009


  • Cavitation
  • Cleaning
  • Electro-acoustic
  • Electrolyte
  • Megasonic
  • Pressure amplitude
  • Wafer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'Megasonic cleaning of wafers in electrolyte solutions: Possible role of electro-acoustic and cavitation effects'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this