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Product Technology News

Patterned-Wafer Inspection Tools


San Jose, CA

The Puma 9000 series of patterned-wafer inspection tools is for use at the 65-nm node and beyond. The tools incorporate Streak technology, which combines advanced UV illumination optics with high-speed imaging to provide a range of inspection modes optimized for critical-defect detection without compromising throughput. Configurable and extendable across several technology generations, the tools offer sensitivity and throughput improvements over traditional laser scattering systems, enabling chipmakers to implement higher sampling strategies to protect wafers in process. With multiple inspection modes, the systems can be used in a variety of process applications for both logic and memory production. They also have effective pattern-filtering and noise-suppression capabilities, which provide improved defect-signal capture on critical etch layers in memory applications. (Semicon West, South Hall, Booth 426)

Portable Cleanroom Fogger

PWC Technologies

Beaverton, OR

The portable ultrasonic Fog-Gun is for use in environments that require totally portable, visible vapor generation. The battery-powered, handheld, on-demand fogger has no extension cords, is portable and lightweight, and is equipped with a two-speed fan. Built-in tilt and level sensors protect the transducers. A 6-ft hose can be used for remote fogging, and a belt clip assists in easy transportation. The fogger is equipped with a trigger-bypass switch for continuous fog use. Two battery packs are included with the device; each battery lasts for approximately 50 minutes between chargings. The fogger has a water capacity of 1.25 cups and a fog life of approximately 40 minutes.

Spent-Ultrapure-Water Meters

Universal Flow Monitors

Toledo, OH

Two types of meters can help IC manufacturers to reuse spent ultrapure water: vane meters made of PVC, 316 stainless steel, and Viton and plastic see-through variable-area meters made from polysulphone. The vane meters provide a local indication of flow rate and have a simple design. They also have cost-effective transmitters for remote readouts, recording, or data logging, and alarm switches that indicate flow failure. The SX model accommodates 1/4- to 3/4-in. pipe and handles flows from 3 to 20 gal/min, while the MX model is for use with 3/4- to 2-in. pipe and handles flows from 10 to 160 gal/min. Insite variable-area meters enable users to see the fluid. They are available in a model for 1/2- to 1-in. pipe that handles flows from 5 to 15 gal/min and a model for 3/4- to 1 1/2-in. pipe that handles flows from 20 to 50 gal/min.

ArF Excimer Laser


Oyama, Japan

For use as a mass-production lithography light source at the 65-nm node and below, the GT40A is a 4-kHz argon fluoride (ArF) excimer laser equipped with an injection-locking resonator. The resonator ensures highly stable emission of a deep ultraviolet beam with a high output of 45 W. It also offers a spectral bandwidth of 0.2 pm for full-width half maximum and 0.5 pm for E95, the highest bandwidth level in the semiconductor industry. In in-house and OEM tests, the laser has demonstrated stabilized high performance, low running costs, and excellent reliability and uptime. The injection-locking technology reduces the load on the laser optics. In addition, the system configuration has been refined to reduce the number of consumables (modules) and their replacement frequency. A self-diagnosis function simplifies module replacement and serviceability.

Liquid-Flow Controller


Milpitas, CA

Unit L–series liquid-flow controllers use proprietary InFlo technology, which is based on ultrasonic sensors and optimized signal-processing algorithms. The unit controls and monitors slurry and liquid-chemical recipes at the point of use. It is for use with flows ranging from 50 to 2000 ml/min and has an accuracy of ▒1% of flow. (Semicon West, South Hall, Booth 2426)

Megasonic System


Campbell, CA

The TableTop megasonic system is a single-substrate and specialty-parts cleaning system in a compact package. The unit can be operated in continuous or pulsed mode and has an LCD operator interface, recirculating process fluid, and optional heat control. The system's transducer arrays, electronics, controls, and software are all patented technologies. The standard configuration is used to process 200-mm substrates. (Semicon West, North Hall, Booth 5448)

Electrical Flex-Circuit Seals

Pave Technology

Dayton, OH

Hermetically sealed PAVE-Flex through-bulkhead electrical flex-circuit seals are for use in low or high vacuum or pressure. The helium leak-tight seals operate to <10–7 cm3/sec of helium at 10–8 Torr vacuum. Virtually any Kapton-insulated flex-circuit design can be manufactured in space-saving, high-circuit-density, high-speed designs. The seals are used in semiconductor processing equipment and scanning electron microscopes.

Miniature Screw Rail

Kerk Motion Products

Hollis, NH

The Mini ScrewRail, a compact addition to a line of screw-rail linear actuators, is for use in applications that require accurate positioning in a confined space. The screw rail consists of a precision rolled leadscrew, supported by sealed bearings and contained within a concentric steel guide rail that drives an integrated nut/bushing. Because all the alignment requirements are achieved within the screw rail, its support and positioning are much less critical than with traditional slide assemblies. The component is available with a 0.375-in. outside diameter. It has proprietary Kerkote TFE coating on both the leadscrew and guide rail, minimizing drag torque and extending wear life. (Semicon West, Gateway, Booth 3311)

Micro/Macro Defect Detection

Leica Microsystems Semiconductor

Wetzlar, Germany

For use in 200- and 300-mm wafer applications, the LDS3300 C micro/macro defect detection tool performs automated defect detection, classification, and in-line review. Offering a throughput of up to 130 wafers per hour, the tool combines the advantages of the INS3300 inspection and review system with the ability to inspect the entire wafer surface for macroscopic defects. Using simultaneous bright- and dark-field illumination, the macro module captures a full-color image of the entire wafer surface. The image is compared with all die on the wafer or to reference information. Differences are considered defects and are compared with an image library of known classified defect groups. Using automatic defect classification, the system determines whether the wafer is in a go/no-go, in-line microscope review, or alarm condition. (Semicon West, South Hall, Booth 1926; Moscone West, Booth 7521)

Strained-SOI Wafers


Bernin, France

Strained-silicon-on-insulator (sSOI) wafers enable a wide range of high-speed, low-power IC applications, including those with high-performance logic cores. The 300-mm wafers' electron mobility enhancement factor (up to 80%) is built into the substrate, spreading the strain benefits to all regions of the IC and to all transistor geometries. In addition, the substrates can break through the power-dissipation barriers that are becoming an increasingly critical roadblock to higher-performing chips. Manufactured using the patented Smart Cut process, the substrates exhibit stress of 1.5 GPa with homogeneity of ▒7% across the entire wafer, which is equivalent to strain of almost 1%. The strained-silicon layer is 200 Å thick with a uniformity of ▒3% and has a surface roughness comparable to that of premium bulk silicon wafers. (Semicon West, North Hall, Booth 5425)

Diode-Pumped Solid-State Laser

Bavarian Photonics

Munich, Germany

The Aion Industrial 1064-32-V diode-pumped solid-state laser has a 32-W TEM00 at 1064 nm. At 30 kHz, the laser's energy per pulse increases to 1000 ÁJ. The infrared laser has a pulse width between 10 and 80 nanoseconds, which is dependent on different repetition rates. The unit's modular design and long life ensure excellent reliability and low maintenance. The laser can be used to perform micromachining applications. (Semicon West, Moscone West, Booth 9513)

Wafer Reader

DVT Machine Vision

Duluth, GA

By reading, recording, and responding to industry-standard wafer identification, the Wafer Reader offers the product traceability and real-time validation required throughout the fabrication process. Integrated lensing and lighting capabilities provide the flexibility required to read codes consistently throughout production processes that change the wafer's appearance. The instrument has high resolution of 1280 X 1024 pixels and a large field of view of up to 34 X 26 mm. Its built-in processor, a Texas Instruments DSP with 64 MByte RAM and 16 MByte Flash memory, eliminates the need for a framegrabber or PC. The user interface supports both Windows and Windows CE platforms, and its automated software programming and light tuning provide quick and easy setup. The system handles 2-D matrix codes, bar codes, and OCR; it supports SEMI M12, M13, T1, T2, T3, and T7 codes, as well as IBM codes. (Semicon West, North Hall, Booth 6783)

Laminar-Flow Clean Bench

Clean Air Products

Minneapolis, MN

Series-204 horizontal laminar-flow clean benches include an internal motorized filter unit for full filter coverage  and three-side access for easy cleaning.  The benches are available in several sizes, ranging from 2 X 2 to 2 X 6 ft. They are designed for installation on top of an existing tabletop, with the filter in the rear of the unit and the hood on the front. The prefilter may be serviced from behind the unit. Additional features include a decorative white-painted steel housing and an internal motorized filter unit for full filter coverage. Options include a stainless-steel housing, a stainless-steel hood, and an integrated light.

Linear Motor Stages


Irvine, CA

Offering high performance with ease of integration, the IMS-LM linear motor stages reduce stage length by more than 100 mm for space- constrained applications. They have travel ranges from 300 to 600 mm; feature a robust, thermally optimized design; and offer 5-nm resolution and motion sensitivity of 20 nm. The precision linear encoder and bearings can provide 0.5-Ám bidirectional repeatability and an on-axis accuracy of 10 Ám at a maximum speed of 500 mm/sec. The stages have a quiet, center-driven three-phase synchronous iron-core linear motor that provides nearly twice the efficiency of ironless linear motors. This design delivers 60 N rms force with only 6°C rise in top-plate temperature. Precision position feedback is supplied by a high-precision linear encoder that is interpolated by the XPS motion controller to subnanometer resolution. (Semicon West, South Hall, Booth 1934; Moscone West, Booth 7527)

In-Line Chemical Metrology System


Sunnyvale, CA

The Sentry platform is a production-worthy in-line chemical metrology system that determines chemical composition and potential yield- or process-limiting defects. Featuring proprietary in-line mass spectrometry (ILMS) technology, the platform forms the core of the chemical composition metrology (CCM) and trace contamination metrology (TCM) systems. Sentry CCM deploys ILMS technology to meet the chemical composition challenges associated with copper ECD processes, including bath mismanagement, fill reproducibility issues, mounding and overburden problems, and wafer-to-wafer consistency. Sentry TCM uses ILMS technology to identify and quantify metallics and organic contamination, protecting against potential yield-killing contamination. ILMS technology eliminates the potential for external contamination from manual sampling and the periodic drift associated with traditional analytical techniques.

Depth, CD Measurement System


San Jose, CA

The Innova-D system for automated depth and critical dimension (CD) measurement employs sophisticated confocal optics to measure step heights and linewidths on semiconductor, optoelectronic, and MEMS devices. Depth measurement repeatability is 0.03 Ám (3σ) and linewidth repeatability is 0.006 Ám (3σ). The tool incorporates advanced features to ensure ultrahigh precision and accuracy, such as laser interferometry for precise x-y stage positioning, a durable granite base, and a vibration-isolation platform. A proprietary vision-based autofocus feature provides the repeatable focusing necessary for nanometer-level accuracy. The Innova series of CD measurement systems are well suited for both point-to-point and field-of-view applications. The systems incorporate sound metrology principles and powerful image analysis algorithms to provide accurate CD measurements of feature sizes down to 0.5 Ám. (Semicon West, South Hall, Booth 3044)

Motor Control IC

Performance Motion Devices

Lincoln, MA

Offering a precision velocity loop for brushless dc motors, the MC73110 motor control IC operates in internal velocity profile mode, velocity mode with an external velocity command signal, or torque mode with an external torque command signal. The compact single-axis IC uses velocity feedback from an encoder or via a direct-input analog tachometer signal. A velocity scalar term, along with a sophisticated averaging velocity estimator, enables precision velocity control of motor speed and acceleration across a wide range of profiles. The IC can also be combined with a velocity integrator loop when position loop control characteristics are required. Utilizing an on-chip A/D convertor, the IC digitizes analog current feedback and provides multiple current-sensing methods to maximize motor performance. Only a MOSFET or IGBT triple half-bridge is needed to implement a full-featured controller.

Extruded Flat PVDF

Compression Polymers

Moosic, PA

For use in the manufacture of process equipment such as wet benches and rinse tanks, 1/2-in. extruded flat PVDF is available in 48 X 96-in. and 48 X 120-in. sheets. The extruded sheets complement a line of compression-molded sheets that range in thickness from 5/8 to 21/2 in. The company also offers homopolymer PP, copolymer PP, HDPE, HDPE pipe grade, Flametec CP7-D, cleanroom PVC-C, Corzan CPVC, and ultrawhite PVD.

Valveless Piston Pump


Vancouver, WA

Series PF, a valveless piston pump, meters and doses even soft-solid-containing fluids. The pump's innovative valveless design virtually eliminates clogging. It features a reciprocating and rotating piston, which ensures smooth, accurate, and repeatable delivery. With flow rates to 1 L/min (0.26 gal/min) and pressures to 6.89 bar (100 psi), the pump maintains accurate flow throughout the entire pressure range. It comes with a standard stepper motor that is easy to program and provides reproducible results when used with an electronic controller. It is available in a small package size and offers numerous mounting options and excellent chemical compatibility.

Six-Axis Nanopositioning System

Physik Instrumente (PI)

Auburn, MA

A six-axis piezo nanopositioning and nanoscanning system, the P-587.6CD is for use in nanomanufacturing, nanometrology, scanning microscopy, optics, mask alignment, and other high-end applications. The system offers six degrees of freedom, six-axis digital control, active trajectory-error compensation, millisecond responsiveness, nanometer resolution, and travel ranges to 800 Ám. It also features an integrated autocalibration function for fast setup and interchangeability of controllers and nanomechanisms. The system has a parallel-metrology design for improved multiaxis precision. With parallel metrology, all sensors measure the position of the same moving platform against the same stationary reference (the fixed frame), ensuring that all motion is inside the servo loop, no matter which actuator may have caused it. The parallel-kinematics, single-module design reduces inertia and the center of gravity for fast response and settling. (Semicon West, North Hall, Booth 6157)

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