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Product Technology News

Ion Implanter

Varian Semiconductor
Equipment Associates

Gloucester, MA

The VIISta 900XP retrograde-well ion implanter addresses submegaelectronvolt n- and p-type retrograde-well implants, which are needed to manufacture high-performance devices. With the same single-wafer architecture as other VIISta systems, the 900XP has an increased upper energy range and precise true-zero implant-angle capability. All VIISta tools feature proprietary control and positioning systems and a common single-wafer endstation. The high degree of commonality across the VIISta platform facilitates process matching throughout the toolset and provides flexibility in managing capacity, product-mix changes, spare-parts replacement, and training.

Mask Aligner

Suss MicroTec

Munich, Germany

The MA200Compact is a production full-field exposure system that enables the use of cost-effective mask aligner technology in areas where 1× steppers used to dominate. The compact system combines the company’s mask-alignment and coat/develop cluster technology with DirectAlign, which has a guaranteed alignment accuracy of 0.5 µm at 3σ. DirectAlign increases the mask-aligner process window for a variety of applications such as thick-resist MEMS. The unit can be equipped with high-resolution exposure optics that enable near-vertical sidewalls with high aspect ratios in resist films that are 100 µm and thicker.

3-D Modeling Software


Cary, NC

SEMulator3D, a computer-aided design tool, produces silicon-accurate 3-D models of devices and chips. Once calibrated or tuned to specific production equipment and processes, the software provides a fast, easy way to generate silicon-accurate interactive models of films, structures, and devices. It also enables users to document and certify a fab’s manufacturing processes and any modifications so that the processes can be transferred among different fabs or fabless chipmakers and foundries. Rather than use electrical or chemical inputs, the software inputs geometric or topographic parameters, which are taken from existing mask-layout data files and process flows in the standard GDSII format. It also uses actual device and structure measurements fabricated using particular production equipment. SEMulator3D includes a process library that supports all the typical process steps used in the fab.

Reticle Inspection System


Acton, MA

The ES-240 inspects reticles, flat panels, and other electronic products. Benefits of the automatic inspection system include batch loading capability and multiple illumination modes, including transmitted or reflected dark- or bright-field illumination. The easy-to-use tool can inspect parts varying in size from 10 × 10 to 250 × 250 mm. Available with the ES-240 are numerous inspection algorithms, precision metrology, and pattern inspection and defect detection capabilities. The system detects pattern defects, surface particles, inclusions, scratches, and stains. Detectable defects range in size from 0.5 to >100 µm.

Photomask Metrology Tool

n&k Technology

Santa Clara, CA

A photomask system combines the capabilities of a CD-SEM, a DUV dual-beam laser interferometer, and a spectroscopic ellipsometer. The 5700-CDRT simultaneously furnishes polarized reflectance and transmittance spectra in the DUV-Vis-NIR wavelength range, enhancing trench depth, CD, and profile measurements of photomasks. Trenches as deep as 35 µm, with an approximate pitch range of 100 nm to 7 µm, are accurately measured for 2-D and 3-D structures. The system exhibits excellent correlation of phase-shift measurements with interferometer output at both 193 and 248 nm for a wide variety of trench structures and materials. It also provides film thickness, values of n and k, and phase shift of MoSiON, even with the presence of a chrome layer.

Handheld Particle Counter

Particle Measuring Systems

Boulder, CO

The HandiLaz Mini is an ergonomically designed, simple-to-use handheld system that counts particles as small as 0.3 µm. The cost-effective, high-quality unit weighs only 1.5 lb and features easy data transfer to Excel, making information accessible to all users. The particle counter performs measurements in seconds and stores up to 8000 samples.

Resist Stripper/Residue Remover

Mallinckrodt Baker

Phillipsburg, NJ

CLk-222 photoresist stripper and residue remover excels in processes incorporating copper and sensitive low-k dielectrics. Addressing the needs of advanced technologies at or below the 90-nm node, the product can remove bulk photoresist, ash residues, and antireflective coatings in a single step. An efficient chemistry that is easy to implement into dual-damascene processes, the stripper and residue remover is an aqueous-based material requiring no intermediate rinse, making it an environmentally friendly alternative to comparable strippers. With a typical bath life of more than 24 hours, it can be used over a temperature range of 25° to 65°C, with results seen in 5–30 minutes. Hence, the product is effective over a broad range of process conditions.

Variable-Area Flowmeter


Minneapolis, MN

The mini-Pathfinder is the latest addition to a line of variable-area flow-meters, which are used for aggressive and ultra-pure-liquid applications. The meter incorporates the design features of the Pathfinder-series flowmeters into a package that is 28% smaller than it was previously. The flowmeter is available for flows up to 6 L/min in a panel-mount configuration with or without an integrated precision metering valve. It has a variety of port connection types and sizes.

ArF Lithography Light Source


San Diego, CA

A fifth-generation master oscillator power amplifier (MOPA)–based argon fluoride (ArF) light source, the XLA 400 offers chipmakers the highest repetition rate of 6 kHz and 90 W of output power. The light source is scheduled to be used in volume production at the 65-nm node and will promote design flexibility for hyper-NA (>1.0) immersion lithography tools at the 45-nm node and beyond. The system offers increased power to support various illumination schemes, permitting tighter dose stability and more-stringent critical dimension control.

Electric Linear Actuators


Hauppauge, NY

An electromechanical ball screw–
driven linear actuator, the SLME uses a fine-pitch ball screw and a recirculating ball-bearing guide to achieve high accuracy and repeatability. The ball tracks each have four contact points, providing a high dynamic load up to 27 kN and moment up to 1410 Nm. The unit is smaller and more compact than other actuators because it eliminates separate guiding systems. For use in semiconductor manufacturing, the actuator has a steel U-shaped guide rail, which provides high rigidity in all directions. Its guiding surface is ground into the steel body, eliminating the need for separate internal guiding rails. The precision-rolled ball screw provides high positioning accuracy (±0.01 mm) and high repeatability.

Vacuum-Pump Inlet Trap

MV Products

Billerica, MA

A vacuum-pump inlet trap for larger process-tool forelines protects vacuum pumps in processes that generate large quantities of heavy particulates, such as LPCVD, PECVD, and ALD. The MV Multi-Trap 16-in. vacuum inlet trap features a first-stage knock-down baffle and multiple filtration stages. Suitable for 300-mm fabs, the high-capacity trap can be stacked with up to six stages of user-specified replaceable filter elements to achieve optimum filtration efficiency for a given application. Incorporating a modular clamp-together design for ease of maintenance, the unit is constructed of 304 stainless steel. Filter options include stainless-steel gauze, microrated polypropylene, activated alumina or charcoal, Sodasorb, and other materials to remove residual solvent-vapor acids and particulates.

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