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Asuite of spectral engineering techniques from Cymer minimizes variations in optical proximity effects (OPE) and enhances depth of focus (DOF), enabling chipmakers to improve process control and maximize yields. Based on the company's on-board E95 bandwidth metrology, the new techniques include active bandwidth control, which lets semiconductor manufacturers tune the light-source bandwidth within a narrow range under a variety of operating conditions and minimize OPE variations from exposure tool to exposure tool. The suite also includes the resolution enhancement by laser spectrum adjusted exposure (RELAX) technique, which improves DOF for critical process layers. Information: www.cymer.com.

Johnson Matthey has been granted a U.S. patent for the V-Purge hydrogen purification system, which purges hydrogen from palladium membrane purifiers. For use in large MOCVD production platforms, the design ensures complete hydrogen removal in the event of power outages and emergency shutdowns. The system eliminates all hydrogen in the cell before the cell cools below 300°C, the limit at which significant stresses on the membrane can occur if hydrogen is present. Complete purging can take place in less than 10 minutes. The system can also switch from full nitrogen purge to full hydrogen flow of up to 200 std L/min in one minute while maintaining the cell temperature within 5°C. Information: www.pureguard.net.

Wonderware has enhanced its ArchestrA application platform, which focuses on fabwide equipment engineering systems (EES). The enhancements provide fast correlation of process data with production events, ad hoc navigation through data from multiple sources, and new calculations embedded into the system's integrated real-time database. The new capabilities allows IC fabs to better use the platform's connectivity, visualization, and data storage and management features to build fabwide EES. The platform provides a user-friendly electronic design automation interface to define and manage data collection plans for an entire fab. More than 800 interfaces are available for direct connection to real-time data sources. An automated portal provides personalized information delivery and drill-down navigation. Information: www.wonderware.com.

Using the Zeta spray cleaning system, FSI International has developed the PlatNiStrip process, a nickel-platinum strip process that helps IC manufacturers to form salicide at the 65-nm node. The company has partnered with chipmakers to demonstrate the process on 65-nm pilot-line devices. The process, which can be implemented using industry-standard chemicals on a standard Zeta system, uses a point-of-use blended-acid solution that can strip both nickel and platinum without leaving residues. It has high selectivity to silicide, oxide, and nitride and enables the integration of nickel-platinum silicide film. Information: www.fsi-intl.com.

Thin-film analysis software from SEMICONsoft supports ellipsometry, reflectance, and transmittance analysis. TFCompanion includes an extensive materials library and supports different parameterized approximation models of materials' optical dispersion. The new release has a flexible feature matrix that allows users to select the version and capabilities of the software to suit the project at hand. It also features backside reflection correction, which enables users to measure thick substrates without blackening the backside. Information: www.semiconsoft.com.

A Web site from Cabot Supermetals provides information on the company's tantalum sputtering targets. The targets are used in critical thin-film applications in the semiconductor, flat-panel-display, and other industries. The site includes detailed information on tantalum material properties and target product specifications. Technical papers by company scientists explain advances in tantalum thin-film applications. The site also provides material safety data sheets and ISO certificates. Information: www.cabottargets.com.


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