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Several patents for wet process semiconductor cleaning and drying technologies have been awarded to Akrion. Two patents relate to the company’s Goldfinger single-wafer cleaning systems. One of them, which has also been awarded to IMEC, is for a megasonic cleaning and drying apparatus that is integral to the system. The other pertains to the system’s stackable chambers. Stackable chambers greatly reduce the platforms’ footprint. The company also received a patent for a drying technology that is used in batch-immersion wet stations but may also be applicable to single-wafer systems. Akrion holds more than 100 patents or patents pending in the areas of single-wafer and batch-immersion processes. Information:

Luxtron offers an annual National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)–traceable temperature calibration service for its Fluoroptic temperature-measurement products. While the company’s instruments do not require temperature recalibration under normal use, calibration and certified system checks can be performed when users’ ISO and quality procedures mandate them. For this purpose, the company offers convenient calibration and service contracts. The company maintains a world-class calibration laboratory with temperature dry baths that are traceable to NIST standards in Gaithersburg, MD. These baths, along with strict ISO9001:2000 procedures, enable the company to perform accurate calibration of Fluoroptic temperature systems. Annual system calibration and check services are available on previously purchased instruments, probes, and extensions. Initial NIST-traceable temperature calibration of new products is also offered. Information:

J P Sercel Associates (JPSA) offers a laser-beam switching module that quickly switches the entire beam from one path to another. It can be used to switch between two different experiments or between separate processes. The module features a large-format design with a 50 × 50-mm clear aperture that allows passage of a large-diameter homogenized beam without beam corner clipping. A vacuum UV system, it can be used with short-wavelength UV excimer beams, including 157-, 193-, and 248-nm ones. The unit is not composed of organic materials, preventing material degradation under UV radiation and the contamination of optics and interior chambers. It can be integrated into a laser-beam delivery system. Beam deflection can be used to perform beam diagnostics or check beam homogeneity, pulse width, and other beam characteristics. Information:

August Technology has announced that it has been granted a patent for a method that detects defects on the circumferential edge of a wafer. The method includes the technology required to acquire images along the wafer circumference. It also incorporates a novel approach that dynamically adjusts to the condition of the edge surface by dividing the image into slices while extracting information on a variety of killer defects. The image-based method also preserves the size, location, color information, and surface morphology of the defect for later review, a critical step toward identifying the source of the defects and removing that source from the manufacturing process. Information:

An addition to Watlow’s PPC-2000 multiloop controller, Tru-Tune helps fine-tune PID control loops and adaptively tunes dynamic systems that would otherwise have to be retuned by operators. The adaptive control option improves tuning by automatically optimizing control parameters whenever necessary to keep the system at the target temperature. When a system is well tuned, the product is kept closer to the ideal processing temperature. This improves yield and reduces wasteful scrap and the need for reworking misprocessed material. When the process variable tracks the setpoint more accurately, the process or equipment spends less time warming up and stabilizing and is more available and productive. Information:

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