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Product Technology News

E-Beam Inspection System


San Jose, CA

To accelerate transistor innovation at the 65- and 45-nm nodes, the eS32 E-beam inspection tool captures subtle electrical defects and small physical ones. The system offers features that accelerate the detection and resolution of systematic, yield-limiting defects in both front-end and back-end applications. Incorporating important advancements in physical and voltage contrast sensitivity to enable fast root-cause analysis, the unit has an extended landing-energy range to enhance the capture of slight, underetched contact defects. Beam current and scanning flexibility options can capture the subtle buried shorts associated with nickel silicide and strained-silicon integration. Small pixel size captures small physical defects in dense, high-aspect-ratio structures, and advanced binning algorithms help identify and resolve new systematic defect mechanisms.

Film-Thickness Measurement Unit

Craic Technologies

Altadena, CA

An integrated system measures film thicknesses on everything from quartz wafers to flat-panel displays. Combining the QDI 2000 microspectrophotometer, which is capable of both reflectance and transmission, and QDI FilmPro software, users can determine the thicknesses of thin films that are deposited on both opaque and transparent substrates. For transparent substrates, greatly enhanced film-thickness accuracy is obtained by utilizing transmission spectra, as opposed to common reflectance measurements. That improved accuracy enhances the determination of film thicknesses.

Ceramic Vacuum Wafer Chucks


Golden, CO

Ultraflat high-purity ceramic vacuum chucks offer significant advantages over traditional wafer chucks. Three to five times stiffer than glass or metal components, the ceramic chucks are available in several materials, including UltraSiC silicon carbide, PureSiC chemical vapor deposition silicon carbide, PlasmaPure alumina, and StatSafe ESD alumina. They feature the benefits of high-purity ceramic, including high corrosion resistance, low thermal expansion, and high thermal conductivity. The chucks are manufactured using a sophisticated 3-D method for mapping surface flatness, which has proven effective for making extremely large components. This technology can verify controlled depth standards with excellent precision.

Strip Tool


Fremont, CA

For use in development and high-volume manufacturing at the 90-nm node and below, the 300-mm Suprema strip system features an inductively coupled plasma source that provides high strip rates of more than 9 µm/min. Utilizing an innovative mechanism that can transfer four wafers simultaneously, the system’s high-speed vacuum and atmospheric robotics deliver throughput of greater than 300 wafers/hr. The compact tool can be configured with two dual-wafer modules. It provides excellent within-chamber and chamber-to-chamber process repeatability and offers a wide process window for both front-end-of-line and back-end-of-line applications, including bulk photoresist strip, high-dose implant strip, descum, and resist recess.

Absolute-Pressure Transducers

Setra Systems

Boxborough, MA

The 700-series of absolute-pressure transducers incorporates all-welded Inconel variable-capacitance sensors, which have a wide dynamic range, high accuracy, and overpressure capability. The sensors provide a direct total-pressure measurement that is independent of gas composition. Comparable to capacitance manometer transducers, the 700-series units offer inherent stability, repeatability, and corrosion resistance, making them suitable for low-pressure processes such as chemical vapor deposition and etch. The Model 764, Model 769, and Model 774 are internally heated to 45°, 100°, and 123°C, respectively. The heated sensors offer immunity to ambient-temperature changes, with typical zero stability of better than 0.002% full scale per degree centigrade.

Cleanroom Paper


Seoul, South Korea

Papiclean is a 100%-recyclable, dust-free cleanroom paper that is offered at competitive prices. The paper dissolves completely within 10 minutes when subjected to the Technology of the American Pulp and Paper Industry dissolution method. The product comes in several weights, including standard 72 g/m2 and 54 and 100 g/m2. In addition, the paper is available in industry-standard cut sizes and as perforated forms, notebooks, pocket pads, tack memos, sticker labels, and master rolls. It comes in seven different colors.

PCI-Bus Motion Controller Module


San Jose, CA

A robust motor control positioning system for stepper and servomotors, the MCI-0410 four-axis PCI-bus controller module provides engineers with the stage technology needed to operate the most critical levels of command profile and speed execution. The compact controller performs field-tested, multifunctional bus tasks, enabling equipment designers to maximize their designs cost-effectively and to build program-critical and reliable automation products. The high-speed programmable card links and enables motor/driver connectivity to a simplified controller without the need for designers to learn a new write-up language or to familiarize themselves with the latest motion control technology. Its design flexibility is controlled by the MPG2031 pulse generator chip, which carries out all PCI-bus operation and oversees all programmed commands established by the engineer.

Thermoelectric Heater/Chiller

Applied Integrated Systems

Livermore, CA

An ultra-high-purity thermoelectric heat exchanger heats and cools chemicals in semiconductor and other applications. The Kool-Pure unit utilizes a leakproof all-PFA (Teflon) flow path to ensure chemical resistance and many years of maintenance-free operation. The compact, flexible system provides a wide range of heating and cooling capacities from 100 W to 1.5 kW and flow rates up to 20 L/min. Other benefits include an FM-4910 polypropylene enclosure for protection against corrosive fumes; manual or remote control via a 4–20-mA, 0–10-V dc, or RS-232 system; and a power control methodology that ensures temperature accuracy of ±0.1°C.

Vibration-Isolation Workstation

Kinetic Systems

Boston, MA

The 9600-series vibration-isolation table features low natural frequencies and high isolation efficiencies. Under maximum load at 80 psi and 10 Hz, typical vibration efficiencies are 93% with a vertical natural frequency of 1.5 Hz and 95% with a horizontal natural frequency of 1.6 Hz. The workstation is constructed of stainless steel using cylindrical welded braces for maximum rigidity, minimum flat surfaces, and easy wipedown. An enclosed isolation module, stainless-steel valves, and vented exhaust keep the unit in full compliance with Class 1 and Class 10 cleanroom standards. The unit features Active-Air suspension, a dual-chamber compressed-air system that provides excellent vibration damping and maintains a preset zero-deflection level to compensate for load changes.

Double-Ferrule Tube Fittings


Riverside, CA

Double-ferrule tube fittings in 316 stainless steel are used in the instrumentation and process control industries. Manufactured under stringent quality control conditions, the fittings are available in 1/8;-, 1/4-, 3/8-, and 1/2-in. sizes and are interchangeable and intermixable with major brands.

High-Purity Optical Lens Material


Corning, NY

HPFS 8650, a high-purity optical lens material for semiconductor microlithography applications, supports the performance requirements of polarized 193-nm immersion lithography (IML) systems. The material exhibits high resistance to laser damage at 193 nm, low compaction, no expansion, and low polarization-induced birefringence. In addition, it offers improved index homogeneity, low initial birefringence with no systematic pattern, and high transmission. The stable, predictable behavior of the material under 193-nm laser exposure enables it to support the throughput requirements of IML systems. The product complements HPFS 7980 fused silica, which is used in 248-nm lithography.

Optical 3-D Profiler

Ametek Taylor Hobson

Leicester, UK

An advanced measurement interferometer used in the manufacture of MEMS and semiconductors, the Talysurf CCI 6000 optical 3-D profiler uses a patented correlation algorithm to find the coherence peak and phase position of an interference pattern produced by a selectable bandwidth of light. This 3-D profiling method provides high resolution and excellent sensitivity to returning light. Fine data resolution in the x- and y-axes, combined with a very low missing-data rate, contribute to good system performance. The tool combines the surface-imaging quality of a microscope with the high-accuracy measuring capability of a surface profiler. The result is a 3-D surface-texture, step-height, and microdimensional measurement system that operates in seconds. All types of surfaces, including rough, specular, or scattered, and all types of materials, including metal, photoresist, and polymer, can be measured.

Gallium Nitride-on-Diamond Wafer


Menlo Park, CA

A gallium nitride (GaN) semiconductor wafer can be atomically attached to a freestanding polycrystalline chemical-vapor-deposited diamond substrate that is 25 µm thick. Positioned 0.5 nm away from the diamond substrate, Xero Wafer features good temperature resilience for high-power, high-frequency, electronic solid-state white lighting, military, and photonics applications. Available in 10 × 10-mm square pieces, the wafer can be used to perform conventional epitaxial growth of GaN and its aluminum- and indium-based alloys. When exposed, the GaN has an atomically smooth surface finish that is epi-ready for further epitaxial deposition. The wafer addresses the heat problem that affects high-power and high-speed transistor products: excessive heat buildup and ultimate device failure. Because of the subnanometer proximity of the chip’s active region to the diamond, the GaN-on-diamond wafer removes heat from the chip’s core almost as soon as it is generated.

Ammonia Monitor


Sunnyvale, CA

Based on patented cavity ring down spectroscopy, the ESP-1000 achieves better than 1 ppb detection of ammonia in ambient air. Suitable for the advancing needs of the semiconductor industry, the instrument enables real-time monitoring of airborne ammonia in critical lithography applications. Emitted into the fab by humans and IC manufacturing processes, ammonia affects advanced lithography, leading to yield losses and unscheduled equipment downtime. In addition to offering a true detection limit of <1 ppb, the monitor performs measurements in a few minutes. These advantages allow both lithographers and lithography equipment manufacturers to pinpoint and control the ammonia risk before it affects production.

Wafer-Flip Module

Owens Design

Fremont, CA

A wafer-flip module is used to perform backside contamination inspection in which wafers must be loaded into the process or inspection chamber in a 90° or 180° flipped orientation. The module is designed to handle 200- and 300-mm wafers and is compatible with both edge-grip and vacuum-paddle end-effectors. It has two motors, one for flipping and one for the wafer gripper mechanism. A 180° rotation of the wafer can be performed in less than 2 seconds. The flipper is designed so that no particles 0.10 µm or larger are detected in the wafer path during airborne dynamic motion tests. All motors and motion mechanisms are contained in a purged enclosure to eliminate particle generation during the wafer-flipping process. The system complies with all SEMI and CE standards and mounts to preexisting M6 holes in standard equipment front-end modules.

Cleanroom Oven


Round Lake, IL

An electrically heated Class 100 cleanroom oven, the No. 836 has work-space dimensions of 36 in. wide × 36 in. deep × 39 in. high. Installed in Incoloy sheathing, 30-kW tubular heating elements provide a maximum temperature of 750°F, while a 1000-cu-ft/min 1½-hp recirculating blower maintains horizontal airflow across the load. The unit features a Type-304 2B-finish stainless-steel interior with continuously backwelded seams, an exterior finish with white epoxy paint no. 4, and a brushed-finish stainless-steel door face and control-panel face. It has 6-in-insulated walls and an aluminized exterior. In addition, the oven is equipped with a 30 × 24 × 6-in.-thick stainless-steel high-temperature HEPA recirculating air filter, a digital-programming temperature controller, a manual-reset excess-temperature controller with separate contactors, a recirculating-blower airflow safety switch, and a 10-in.-diam circular chart recorder.

On-Line TOC Analyzer

GE Analytical Instruments

Boulder, CO

The Sievers 500 RL total organic carbon (TOC) analyzer performs continuous on-line monitoring of organics in ultrapure water for microelectronics and other applications. The reagentless unit uses a patented membrane conductometric method, ensuring accurate recovery of all classes of organic compounds and providing robust analytical performance. It is available in several configurations, with upgrade options that allow customers to tailor the solution for their specific needs. The 500 RL offers extreme sensitivity to low levels of TOC, with a limit of detection of 0.03 ppb. This makes the 500 RL useful for microelectronics applications where it is critical to monitor final product water. For standards introduction, the analyzer can be configured with the single-port iOS or the four-port Super iOS, which helps automate all system protocols, including calibration, verification, and system suitability.

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