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Product Technology News

Spray Cleaning Platform

FSI International

Chaska, MN

Available on the Zeta G3 spray cleaning platform, ViPR technology eliminates the need for approximately 80% of FEOL ashing steps during most implanted photoresist stripping, including
1 × 1017 ions/cm2 plasma-doped photoresist. The process uses proprietary chemical blending, delivery, and temperature control technologies, enabling the removal of highly implanted photoresist. The Zeta G3 platform builds on the capabilities of previous-generation systems, offering better performance and higher productivity. It features enhanced robotics that increase throughput by 20% for certain applications. Designed for 300-mm FEOL and BEOL cleaning processes, the system uses a centrifugal spray combined with chemical-delivery technology that prepares chemicals at a controlled composition and temperature for dispensing directly onto wafers.

SOI Thin-Film Wafers


Bernin, France

Unibond silicon-on-insulator (SOI) thin-film wafers help the semiconductor industry to increase the speed and power efficiency of advanced chips. Based on patented Smart Cut technology, the SOI wafers are available with a top-layer thickness ranging from 150 to 50 nm, with thickness uniformity of ±5% (3 σ). They are produced with varying degrees of silicon-layer depletion to accommodate the demand for uniform and very thin (70-Å) oxide layers. The company also offers 300-mm strained SOI (sSOI) wafers for a wide range of high-speed, low-power IC applications, including those with high-performance logic cores. (Semicon West, North Hall 5425)

Gas Analysis


Costa Mesa, CA

Dedicated gas analyzers and an extensive library of calibrations and methods are available for a variety of tool-effluent matrices from chemical vapor deposition (CVD) chamber cleans to copper CVD depositions. Dual gas systems enable the simultaneous assessment of inlet and outlet streams from wet scrubbers, point-of-use scrubbers, thermal oxidizers, and other volatile-organic-carbon abatement devices. V-series systems detect low levels of moisture or impurities in corrosive gases. Aries roaming air-monitoring systems and Titan-EM fixed multipoint analyzers are used for hygiene applications in IC fabs. Also offered are an array of detectors and software, along with customer support to major specialty-gas suppliers, tool manufacturers, and research institutions. (Semicon West, North Hall, Booth 6681)

Diamond Deposition System

sp3 Diamond Technologies

Santa Clara, CA

A fourth-generation system, the Model 650 hot-filament CVD diamond deposition reactor can be configured to perform finely tuned deposition processes on ultrasmooth nanocrystalline or rougher microcrystalline structures in the submicron to >50-µm thickness range. Because of its hardness, stiffness, high thermal conductivity, and electrical conductivity or insulation, diamond can be used in semiconductor applications. The updated system incorporates the process automation and safety features of its predecessors while adding fully integrated process control. Earlier models have been used to grow thermal films on silicon wafers up to 300 mm, silicon-diamond-silicon wafers used as base wafers for GaN growth, and nanocrystalline films for MEMS wafers.

MEMS Tester

Tokyo Electron

Tokyo, Japan

A wafer-level MEMS tester, Temeon enables manufacturers to stimulate a MEMS device and accurately isolate and validate electrical and mechanical functionality at the wafer level before packaging. The unit offers an improvement in the area of fault coverage. At the wafer level, manufacturers have only been able to test electrical functionality. In contrast, the MEMS tool also tests the important mechanical structures of the device, increasing fault coverage. Another improvement is optimization of the test setup and the testing process. A low-force contact methodology at the wafer level eliminates adverse effects to wafer yields resulting from strain applied to MEMS structures. That feature can alter device performance, resulting in maximized wafer sort yields. (Semicon West, North Hall, Booth 5568)

Harsh-Chemistry Metrology


Sunnyvale, CA

The Sentry HCM (harsh-chemistry metrology) tool monitors aggressive acid chemistries used in advanced wafer processing tools. The system is the latest addition to a portfolio of in-line chemical metrology tools that includes the Sentry CCM and the Sentry TCM. In contrast to conventional lab techniques, the HCM system brings automated and quantitative capabilities to the analysis of dangerous and caustic acids, in addition to more-benign process chemistries. Featuring proprietary in-line mass spectrometry technology, the system can sample five different chemistries at any area selected by the fab, from the point of delivery to the point of use. It can monitor trace metallics and organic and inorganic molecules simultaneously at parts-per-trillion levels. It prevents contamination related to yield excursions and enables rapid analysis of root-cause contaminants before costly production materials are affected. The in-line tool produces results in minutes rather than hours or even days. (Semicon West, W Hotel, Third Floor Greatroom 1)

IR, DUV Inspection Technology

Olympus Micro-Imaging

Orangeburg, NY

Operating at wavelengths up to 1200 nm, infrared (IR) inspection technology is used for high-resolution imaging through silicon, GaAs, and other materials that can transmit at these wavelengths. In addition, a deep-ultraviolet (DUV) inspection module extends the 0.30-µm inspection limit to the ~0.08 µm range. The DUV light module is easily retrofitable to the company’s new or existing microscope systems. The IR and DUV wafer-inspection systems enable high-resolution subsurface inspection without sample destruction, enabling accurate measurements with the same ease as visible-light systems. The product line includes the high-end LEXT laser confocal scanning microscope and several upright wafer-inspection microscopes, from the basic MX51 and semiautomated MX61 to the fully automated MX80. (Semicon West, South Hall, Booth 1602)

Reticle Autoleveling System

CyberOptics Semiconductor

Beaverton, OR

WaferSense ALSR is a wireless auto-leveling system in a reticlelike format. The system enables engineers and technicians to get real-time feedback of level conditions in reticle handling equipment such as reticle stockers. It allows users to see what the reticle sees and adjust setups to prevent scratching and particle generation. With this capability, users can check and verify the alignment and leveling of handling systems to prevent scratching and misalignment, resulting in higher die yields and longer reticle/pellicle life. It addition, it speeds the checking or adjusting of inclination, so that the equipment can be returned to productive use faster. A new anodized aluminum housing speeds level checks and adjustments, making equipment setup accurate and repeatable. Both the autoleveling system and the housing provide precise pitch and roll measurements (accurate to +0.03°) that can be logged to relate inclination with yield and determine ideal equipment adjustments. (Semicon West, North Hall, Booth 6474)

Helium-Ion Microscope


Peabody, MA

The LookingGlass LG-2 helium-ion microscope provides ultrahigh resolution and material contrast, exceeding that of even the best high-resolution scanning electron microscopes (SEMs). The scanning ion microscope uses a beam of helium ions as the imaging particles. Since ions can be focused into a very small probe size with low sample interaction, the system can generate high-resolution images with excellent material contrast. For example, an image from the helium-ion instrument shows different materials inside and outside an alignment mark (pictured). The LookingGlass LG-2 microscope will enable further scientific advances in several fields and enables the cost-effective manufacturing of many technology-based products, such as advanced semiconductors. Specific systems for defect review and critical dimension measurement are being contemplated as next-step applications. (Semicon West, West Hall, Booth T27)

Perfluoroelastomer Compound

Greene, Tweed

Kulpsville, PA

An advanced perfluoroelastomer, Chemraz 644 meets the evolving needs of enhanced plasma resistance and minimal particulation, decreasing downtime and maximizing wafer processing yields. Recommended for both static and dynamic oxide-etch wafer processing applications, the compound remains stable at service temperatures up to 280°C, with excursions to 300°C. Providing increased reliability in harsh processing environments, it is used in applications with low sealing forces such as KF fitting seals, slit-valve seals, chamber seals, gas-inlet seals, lid seals, and endpoint windows. The company maintains fully qualified engineering, sales, and support personnel in the Americas, Europe, and Asia. (Semicon West, South Hall, Booth 2234)

Wet-Chemistry Analyzer

CI Semi

Migdal HaEmek, Israel

WetSpec200 is a fully integrated in-line wet chemistry analyzer for real-time monitoring of chemical concentrations in wet processes. Typical applications include cleaning, stripping, and etching wet stations; CMP slurry blenders; and distribution systems. The system accurately measures the near-infrared absorption spectrum to monitor the chemical concentrations of liquids in wet processes such as SC-1, SC-2, DSP, HF/HCI, ST, and EKC. In addition, it can meet the needs of any customized application. The system supports up to eight channels in parallel, measuring different chemistry components. A modular and scalable system, it can be installed outside the cleanroom. Its versatile software models enable soft switching between different chemistries. (Semicon West, South Hall, Booth 235)

In-Line Process Refractometer


Naperville, IL

The PR-23-M, a real-time process refractometer for measuring the concentrations of process liquids in semiconductor fabs, provides continuous and accurate measurements in an application area dominated by more costly analyzers and time-consuming laboratory-based analysis techniques. Using inert nonmetallic materials on all wetted parts, the instrument provides an alarm if the chemical composition is not within programmed specifications. It is used to prevent out-of-spec chemicals from entering the manufacturing process. An all-purpose transmitter, it can be used to measure the concentrations of chemicals such as HF, HCl, KOH, IPA, PGMEA, NMP, NH4OH, C2H6O2, and CH3COCH. The instrument installs directly into the process pipeline and provides a continuous 4–20-mA or digital measurement signal. Measurements are based on an optical measurement sensor, which uses a solid-state charge-coupled-device camera to provide a digital measurement of refractive index.

Ultrasmall-Footprint Metrology Tool

n&k Technology

Santa Clara, CA

An ultrasmall-footprint metrology tool, the LittleFoot is an automated system that measures 84 cm wide × 199 cm deep, the result of a novel patented wafer-handling mechanism. With a footprint that is 40% smaller than that of earlier-generation systems, the tool determines the values of n and k from 190 to 1000 nm with a wavelength sensitivity of 1-nm intervals. It also measures critical dimensions from 5 µm down to 65 nm and below, as well as trench depths and profiles. It is based on deep-ultraviolet–visible–near-infrared broadband spectrophotometry together with patented reflective optics. The self-contained tool provides measurements that correlate well with those from CD scanning electron microscopes and atomic force microscopes.

Aluminum Nitride Substrates

Crystal IS

Green Island, NY

A novel crystal, when sliced and polished, can be used as the basis for 2-in. AlN substrates, which are used for ultraviolet (UV) optoelectronic, blue, and high-power RF devices. With high thermal conductivity and a low lattice mismatch in the device layers, the material can reach wavelengths in the deep-UV spectrum that are unavailable to conventional materials. A patented technique is used for bulk AlN crystal growth, enabling the manufacture of native substrates (sliced from the bulk crystal) with ultralow defect densities. Alternative techniques for producing quasi-bulk AlN substrates involve growth on nonnative substrates, resulting in defect densities that are more than 100,000 times those of the native substrate. Up to 50% of the new substrate is single-crystal usable area, and further development will push the usable area toward 100%.

Leak-Free Tube Fitting


Yokohama, Japan

Flowell 60-series flare-type tube fittings transfer and deliver liquids in photolithography, flat-panel display, LCD, CMP, electrochemical plating, and wet-clean tools. The Teflon PFA flare fittings have several patented design features, offering maximum sealing reliability and fluid entrapment. Their double-taper geometry creates excellent holding force on fluoroplastic tubing. Greater holding force means greater sealing and safety reliability. The fittings’ internal design eliminates dead volume, preventing fluid and particle entrapment, gelation, microbubbles, and turbulence. They have operating temperatures from 0° to 100°C and maximum operating pressure up to 175 psi in certain sizes. (Semicon West, South Hall, Booth 229)


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