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Product Technology News

Optical Thin-Film Metrology Tool


San Jose, CA

A seventh-generation thin-film metrology system, the SpectraFx 200, is based on spectroscopic ellipsometry (SE). The tool has a dielectric-pattern metrology capability that nondestructively provides accurate and robust measurements of in-die process variation. Using the tool, chipmakers can avoid proxy measurements and can monitor 300-mm thin-film processes in-line. The system provides robust, nondestructive measurements that accurately reflect process conditions at the die level, enabling manufacturers to achieve cost-effective production film control at the 65-nm node and beyond. The tool has a 150 SE option that enables the qualification and monitoring of advanced films such as ultrathin oxide-nitride-oxide layers, nitrided films, high-k and low-k dielectrics, 193-nm antireflective coatings, and engineered substrates such as silicon-on-insulator, strained silicon, and silicon germanium. (Semicon Europa, Booth A1.442)


BOC Edwards

Wilmington, MA

PureFilm, an improved-purity grade of trimethylsilane, is used as a CVD low-k precursor for interlevel dielectric connections. With a purity specification of 99.999% (compared with the current industry standard of 99.99%), the chemical has become the low-k precursor of choice for the 90- and 65-nm process nodes. Advanced purification processes ensure product consistency. Available in 16- and 20-kg-fill steel cylinders, the product is being qualified by major production fabs.

Temperature Transmitter


St. Louis, MO

The Series DX DeviceNet temperature transmitter is a four-channel DIN-mounted unit that collects, converts, and broadcasts temperature sensor data over a DeviceNet network. The compact transmitter simplifies the installation process and reduces total installation costs. Its plug-and-play sensor technology offers high accuracy and reduces sensor drift, lowering operating and maintenance costs. Each unit is tested and calibrated for optimum accuracy. It allows all sensor technologies based on the IEEE 1451.4 protocol to be accessible to most programmable logic controllers, networks, and LabVIEW applications. Up to 63 units can be grouped together, enabling more than 250 temperature sensors to be networked on a single DeviceNet cable. (Semicon Europa, Booth A1.254)



Concord, MA

With measurement throughput as high as 1000 sites per hour and clear imaging at the bottoms of high-aspect-ratio contact holes, the SP-1000 critical-dimension scanning electron microscope (CD-SEM) offers the ultra-low-voltage and 3-D model-based metrology required at the 65-nm node and below. The tool uses landing energies as low as 100 eV, reducing the electron range to less than one-tenth that of conventional CD-SEMs. Its 3-D metrology provides more-accurate representation of features' physical shape than the intensity-based measurements of older technologies.

Overlay Inspection System

Nikon Instruments

Melville, NY

The NRM-3100 overlay inspection system measures lithographic exposure overlay precision with respect to previous exposure layers. The instrument's optical quality minimizes lens aberration and delivers subnanometer precision. Its camera and image-processing capability speed move-and-measure time to 1.3 seconds and provide high throughput of more than 150 wafers per hour. The tool is for use in the 300-mm production environment. An optional bridge tool enables it to be upgraded from 200- to 300-mm wafer overlay inspection capability. (Semicon Europa, Booth A1.322)

Particle-Counting Manifold System

Lighthouse Worldwide Solutions

San Jose, CA

Using patent-pending technology, a small particle-counting manifold
system allows a single particle counter to monitor up to six locations at 0.1 cu ft/min. The MiniManifold, when connected to a remote 2014P/3014P/5014P particle counter, performs tool monitoring and qualification and minienvironment monitoring. It consists of a manifold sequencing system with a built-in controller and a miniblower for purge flow. The controller communicates with the particle counter and can interface with a computer system or process tool via the RS 485/Modbus communications protocol. Users can define programming sequences, as well as purge, sample, and hold times.

Molecular-Beam Epitaxy Tool

DCA Instruments

Turku, Finland

A cluster tool platform with a UHV-compatible robot handler, the SiOx 1000/800 molecular-beam epitaxy (MBE) system grows silicon germanium, silicon oxide, and Perovskite structures. The 200- and 300-mm tool grows CFD-quality silicon materials with the flexibility and accuracy of an MBE. It features large-capacity electron-beam guns for extended growth runs, several ports for effusion cells and other deposition sources, large-volume cryopaneling with optimized geometry to prevent deposits from falling into sources, very low metallic contamination levels, and fast-action shutters for silicon epitaxy. Electron-beam guns have a rotary mirror construction for observation of the beam spot. In addition, a heavy-duty-use high-precision substrate manipulator provides excellent temperature homogeneity.

Macrodefect Management System

Rudolph Technologies

Flanders, NJ

YieldView, the yield management component of the WaferView Team used for macrodefect inspection, aids fabwide integration and the analysis of defect data generated by WaferView stand-alone and integrated i-MOD ADI inspection tools. The system enables manufacturers to improve yields by discovering defect types and identifying root causes rapidly. YieldView allows engineers to determine where and when in the process a defect first appears, what wafers have similar defects, and which processes or tools are the greatest contributors to yield loss. It also acts as a central database for recipes, defect classes, and alarm rules for inspection consistency throughout the fab. The system tracks macro- and microscale defects on the front, back, and edge of the wafer. (Semicon Europa, Booth A1.210)

300-mm Overlay Tool

Accent Optical Technologies

Bend, OR

The Caliper élan 300-mm overlay tool extends the 90-nm Caliper platform to 65 nm and beyond. The tool has a new focus system, new optics, new recipe management, and new measurement algorithms. Sub-nanometer-level precision and excellent tool-to-tool matching capability satisfy the performance requirements needed for next-generation processes. With 15–30% greater throughput than competitive tools, the system has a reliable and secure Linux operating system, providing a low cost of ownership in overlay technology. The forward-compatibility guarantee program maximizes customers' capital efficiency by extending the system's life over multiple device generations. The tool is fully compatible with automated material handling and factory automation systems, and is available with up to four loadports.

Sample Preparation and Transfer


Hillsboro, OR

UltraView is an ultra-high-resolution sample analysis process in several steps. First, the 300 HP in-fab defect analyzer or the Expida 1285 DualBeam equipped with NanoLift identify defects, which are then milled and transferred to a six-sample grid that is automatically placed in a sealed transfer capsule. While the capsule is transported to the lab, the analyzed wafer remains in the process flow. Once in the lab, the sample is transferred to a Strata 400 scanning transmission electron microscope (STEM) DualBeam for sample thinning and imaging. If further atomic-level resolution is required, the sample can be transferred to a lab-based Tecnai TEM for analysis. The analysis process provides IC manufacturers with critical process feedback in minutes instead of days, reducing the cost of ultra-high-resolution analysis. (Semicon Europa, Booth B1.370)

Workstation/Equipment Monitor


San Jose, CA

In addition to monitoring electrostatic chucks and electrostatic discharge, the Series 7000 workstation/process equipment monitor can communicate with industry-standard particle counters and particle detectors. More powerful than its predecessor, the Series 6000, the unit can directly perform statistical process control calculations and direct tool communications. It can report data using Ethernet RS-485 and Modbus protocols. In addition, it can perform ionization balance monitoring with automatic or manual decay testing to detect field charge. It also conducts electromagnetic interference magnitude monitoring, pulse counting, dual-channel ground monitoring, and operator voltage or body current detection. The modular instrument allows users to add optional plug-in process enhancements.

Helium Leak Detector


Methuen, MA

Heliot 700 helium leak detectors are offered in four models: an internal rotary-vane pump system, a dry diaphragm system, a large external rotary-vane pump system, and a dry scroll-pump system. The detectors feature a multiple-valve design, achieving sensitivity of 10–12 Torr-L/sec. Troubleshooting is accomplished using integrated maintenance software and a full-color touch-screen display. Other features include start-up autocalibration, optional external leak calibration, and CE mark/IP30. The units are for use in semiconductor applications. (Semicon Europa, Booth B1.242)

Direct-Drive Linear Actuator


Philadelphia, PA

Direct-drive linear actuators operate in position and force modes. I-Force actuators use noncommutated linear coreless brushless servomotors with no cogging or hysteresis. These motors feature very-high-force linearity and allow users to achieve precision force control down to the gram level. With high-resolution submicron contactless linear position feedback and a low-friction built-in linear guide system, they achieve precision positioning. Short electrical and mechanical time constants enable the actuators to attain accelerations above 10 G and cycle rates above 20 Hz.

Workstation Faraday Cages

Kinetic Systems

Boston, MA

Faraday cages can be used with vibration-isolation workstations or they can protect entire workspaces. Produced with high-density, 16-mesh copper screen, the cages provide attenuation of up to 100 dB below 500 kHz, 60 dB below 50 MHz, and 20 dB below 5 GHz. They can be supplied with two hinged front doors, a roll-up door, or sliding doors. In addition, they can accommodate fixed, hanging, or sliding shelves; monitor stands; electrical outlet strips for lighting and other accessories; padded armrests; and retractable casters for easy repositioning. The workstations with Faraday cages can be configured for virtually any environment in which external vibrations and electrostatic interference affect equipment operation. (Semicon Europa, Booth B2.572)

Autofocus Linear Stage


Ronkonkoma, NY

The MAK-AF Auto Focus linear stage meets the requirements of autofocus applications, providing high-speed move-and-settle motion profiles. The stage can provide up to 25 mm of travel, with encoder resolutions ranging from 10 to 100 nm and with 1 nm as an option. It has a counterbalance spring to manage the weight of lens objectives and uses precision crossed-roller bearings with an antimigration device for robust performance and long life. Designed to operate vertically, the stage can perform image acquisition on microscopes and other optical analyses, in addition to rapid move-and-settle applications.

Particle Sensor

Particle Measuring Systems

Boulder, CO

The RNet is an aerosol particle sensor that incorporates a single-plate design, reducing system complexity and the number of heat-generating components while increasing the use of heat-dissipating materials. The sensor features two-channel particle counting at 0.3, 0.5, 1.0, or 2.0 µm, for a sample flow of 0.1 cu ft/min. Its smooth, durable exterior makes it easy to clean, and dual LEDs provide visible status indicators. The sensor is for use in challenging environments and tight quarters. (Semicon Europa, Booth A1.526)

Absolute-Pressure Transducers


Boxborough, MA

Model 700 absolute-pressure transducers incorporate all-welded Inconel variable-capacitance sensors. The sensors have a wide dynamic range, high accuracy, and high overpressure capability. They also provide a direct total pressure measurement that is independent of gas composition. All models are compatible with and less expensive than competitive capacitance manometer brands. Their stability, repeatability, and corrosion resistance make them suitable for low-pressure applications such as CVD and etch processes. The transducers are internally heated and controlled at either 45°C (Model 764), 100°C (Model 769), or 123°C (Model 774). (Semicon Europa, Booth A1.549)

SPM Sensor

Pacific Nanotechnology

Santa Clara, CA

Used for scanning probe microscopy (SPM) visualization of nanoscale surfaces, the Crystal Sensor incorporates an imaging probe mounted at the end of a resonating arm at the end of a small quartz-cross crystal oscillator. During imaging, the vibration amplitudes are <0.3 nm, and the probe-to-surface forces are <0.3 nN, ensuring sharp images. The sensor is used with the Crystal Scanner in both Nano-R and Nano-I SPMs. The microscopes employ a rapid probe-exchange mechanism so that the scanner does not have to be removed from the stage as probes are exchanged. Because the Crystal Scanner does not use conventional light lever technology, laser adjustment is not necessary. Setup and imaging involve simple keystrokes; the system detects the probe frequency and the surface-to-probe interactive forces before capturing images.

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