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Product Technology News

Single-Wafer Megasonic Cleaner

SCP Global Technologies

Boise, ID

A single-wafer processor uses a vertical immersion process chamber with three megasonic transducers. Located at the top of the chambers, two transducers introduce acoustic wavefronts directed at the wafer/liquid/gas interface (the cleaning zone), while a bottom transducer prevents the redeposition of removed particles. The combined action of the wavefronts allows for the use of reduced megasonic power levels and lower exposure times to prevent damage to critical FEOL device structures. Swept through the cleaning zone several times, the wafer is exposed to acoustic wavefronts in the millisecond range. The unit offers high particle-removal efficiency with low film loss at the 65-nm node and beyond.

RGA Automation Platform

MKS Instruments

Wilmington, MA

TOOLweb RGA, a sensor automation platform for residual gas analysis (RGA) control and communication, monitors process integrity and tool performance in real time, identifying process excursions and generating alarms and e-mail messages. The system incorporates sensor-level fault detection and classification as well as data reporting and searching capabilities. It also compares wafer-to-wafer, chamber-to-chamber, and tool-to-tool data. The unit includes a process-specific RGA, a tool connectivity component, and the Process Eye RGA control platform, which runs recipe modules (including routines for sensor configuration, calibration, chamber-state tracking, and real-time dynamic alarms). (Semicon West, South Hall, Booth 1716)

Parts-Cleanliness Testing Station

Particle Measuring Systems

Boulder, CO

The Surfex-300, a parts-cleanliness testing station for 300-mm wafer-box applications, can be used to test large parts such as front-opening unified pods, front-opening shipping boxes, and reticle pods quickly and easily. Smaller parts can also be tested. The automated system combines ultrasonic extraction, particle measurement, high-purity fluidics, and automated software control. It decreases testing costs by reducing sample times to one-tenth of those of traditional manual methods. Test recipes and simple menu-driven software eliminate data variability caused by human error. Reliable data with low sample-to-sample variation are ensured by establishing accurate particle baseline levels. The unit is available with a variety of particle counter sensitivities and ultrasonic frequencies. (Semicon West, South Hall, Booth 1910)

Wafer Inspection Tools


Peabody, MA

The JWS series of defect-review scanning electron microscopes (SEMs) help identify the source of wafer contamination and fractures. The tools offer full 360° wafer-edge review and high resolution. Their depth of focus and high resolution enable users to observe the wafer edge, where defects such as peeling films, residual slurry, embedded defects, cracks, chips, and particles are more difficult to image using conventional optical tools. Column geometry allows the wafer bevel and exclusion zone areas to be in focus at the same time. The JWS-3000, designed for 300-mm wafer inspection, features a conical lens that achieves 3-nm resolution for automated defect review of microdefects in 65-nm design rule processes. The JWS-2000, a 150-mm and 200-mm tool with resolution of 5 nm at 1 kV and a magnification range of 100 to 200,000X, offers a tilt angle range from 0 to 60°. Both models feature an automatic energy-dispersive x-ray analysis function. (Semicon West, South Hall, Booth 1101; Moscone West, Booth 7221)

Photolithography Stepper


Wilmington, MA

The Model 9200 PanelPrinter provides photolithography for mobile display applications. It features 1.5-Ám resolution and has a high-performance 200-mm lens, providing a large lens field and a depth of focus greater than 9 Ám. By utilizing real-time autofocus at every site and high-speed frictionless motion, throughput is improved by as much as 80% over competing technologies. The 9200 offers fully integrated subsystems, including a high-fidelity projection lens and illumination system, a precision x-y stage, an automated substrate alignment system, an automated reticle-handling and storage system, and a suite of metrology sensors. The system features real-time magnification adjustment via a patented six-degrees of freedom reticle chuck, which enables high accuracy in layer-to-layer registration and image-field stitching. The lens provides ▒50 ppm real-time magnification adjustment, so that every substrate is compensated for according to the alignment results.

Regulator Mounting Manifold


McCordsville, IN

Up to four Proportion-Air QB3 electronic pressure regulators can be mounted to a manifold, which offers a common supply and exhaust port with individual controlled outlet ports to minimize plumbing. The QB3 pressure regulator controls pressure or vacuum electronically by accepting a command signal of either 0–10 V or 4–20 mA. The pneumatic output is linear to the command input. An analog output of 0–10 V is standard, representing the actual pneumatic output.

STEM System


Hillsboro, OR

The Titan 80-300 scanning transmission electron microscope (STEM) yields atomic-scale imaging with a TEM information limit below 0.7 Å and STEM resolution below 1 Å. The microscope, part of the UltraView tool suite, performs critical fab applications including seed/barrier layer characterization for copper interconnect processes, ultrathin gate oxide imaging, and high-resolution x-ray composition analysis. UltraView provides semiconductor manufacturers with the ability to collect ultra-high-resolution analytical information from wafers, providing process control feedback in minutes rather than days. The process reduces the cost of ultra-high-resolution analysis, which is often required to inspect complex devices. (Semicon West, South Hall, Booth 2002; Moscone West, Booth 7211)

Wafer Thinning Materials


Morris Township, NJ

A line of fluorine-based wafer thinning chemicals can be used in advanced semiconductor manufacturing processes. Wafers are thinned to achieve flexibility, which enables chipmakers to build smaller chip packages or to place multiple chips into the same package. In smart-card applications, wafer thinning is required to prevent embedded chips from breaking during normal use. Thinning also enables IC manufacturers to shrink chip packages, allowing them to accommodate smaller die sizes. It also permits chips to dissipate heat at higher speeds, since the size of the insulating silicon layer between the device and the thermal management material can be reduced. (Semicon West, North Hall, Booth 5843)

Liquid-Dispense Module


Austin, TX

Suitable for use at the 45-nm node, the TAKLDM liquid-dispense module can blend and control a wide variety of dilute chemistries. Offering process and tool flexibility, the unit is based on FractalFill, a patent-pending approach that provides a continuously analytically qualified chemistry to precise specifications. Once the chemistry is blended, the system gives users the power to change recipes on the fly.

Slurry Blending/Delivery Units

BOC Edwards

Wilmington, MA

The iSIS 1100, iSIS 1200, and iSIS 2000 CMP slurry blending and delivery systems offer integrated centrifugal-pump technology for dispensing slurry to a global loop that feeds CMP polishers. The systems' centrifugal-pump technology provides global loop pressure control to minimize pressure changes at the point of use during demand fluctuations, enabling consistent polishing rates and improving yields. The systems blend concentrated CMP slurry with DI water and up to four additional constituents via patented MassFusion load cell–based blending technology. (Semicon West, South Hall, Booth 726)

High-Purity PVDF Tubing


Philadelphia, PA

Kynar Flex fluoropolymer is for use in flexible, high-purity tubing applications. The tubing, available in 1/4- to 1-in. diameters, complements Kynar PVDF piping systems, which are used in containment, DI-water, and high-purity-acid applications. The tubing is made from 100% pure fluoropolymer. Because it does not contain stabilizers or pigments, it cannot leach particulates into high-purity fluid streams. Depending on the grade of the resin, the tubing operates continuously up to 125°C. The material offers high chemical, abrasion, and thermal resistance. (Semicon West, South Hall, Booth 2937)

FOUP/Carrier Cleaners

Austin American Technology

Austin, TX

Systems are available for cleaning plastic front-opening unified pods (FOUPs), front-opening shipping boxes (FOSBs), and other plastic wafer-handling carriers and devices. The cleaning chemistries used in conveyorized or batch cleaning systems, plus effective media isolation technology, remove contaminants such as inks, fingerprints, oily spots, glue residue, and silicone mold-release agents. The chemistries do not harm the plastics and meet cleanroom requirements while preventing recontamination or contamination migration.

Vibration-Isolation System

Minus K Technology

Inglewood, CA

Two lines of high-performance vibration-isolation platforms, the BM-6 and BM-8, incorporate patented Negative Stiffness technology. The two compact series offer a low 4.5-in. profile and a 1.5-Hz horizontal natural frequency in an easy-to-use, easy-to-install passive platform. The BM-6 offers a 2.5-Hz vertical natural frequency, while the BM-8 offers a 0.5-Hz vertical natural frequency. Both series support payloads up to 105 lb (48 kg). Negative Stiffness technology outperforms costlier active and air-based products and does not require high mass or expensive power and air facilities.

Backside Aligner


San Jose, CA

A manual alignment system offers the advantage of optical backside technology for the price of an infrared (IR) system. The MBA offers four-camera optical backside alignment with 1–2 Ám accuracy. (In IR systems, accuracy is only 3–5 Ám.) The system can handle a wide range of substrates in a variety of conventional and irregular shapes and includes a touch screen interface that is PLC controlled. It features the Series-30 light source and an intensity-controlled power supply. With its 50 X 32-in. footprint, the unit fits into any facility. A tabletop model and a configuration with a vibration-isolation table are available. The tool can be used in universities, R&D facilities, and start-up companies for MEMS, semiconductor, and other applications. (Semicon West, South Hall, Booth 1516)

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