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Nitrogen-Purged Microenvironment

Portable Clean Rooms

Wayland, MA

The sealed-chamber design of the Portable Clean Room maintains a positive-pressure nitrogen environment for more than three days to protect wafers in transit from molecular contaminants, oxygen, and particulates. Suitable for use with 200-mm wafers, the hand-carried microenvironment normally operates on "house" nitrogen; optional housing for attaching a nitrogen canister is available. Fill time is 38 seconds, and pressurization range is 1—5 psi. The microenvironment comprises a base housing and a wafer chamber. The unit, which accommodates a standard cassette, has two handles and a pressure-relief valve. Clamped to the base with a large O-ring, the chamber has two quick-disconnect fittings for filling and purging. The chamber is made of low-outgassing transparent molded poly- urethane which blocks UV light at a rate of 2% below 250 nm. The filter in the nitrogen input line is rated at 0.002 µm absolute. The microenvironment weighs 14 lb and measures 12 x 12 x 16 in.

CMP Slurry Delivery System

BOC Edwards

Wilmington, MA

The iSIS 7000 blends and delivers CMP slurry in large volumes at specified ratios. The delivery system can supply more than 20 tools with slurry at a rate 20 L/min. A blending module generates slurry as it is needed to ensure a fresh mix to ±1% accuracy, while the dispensing module uses pressurized wet N2 to deliver slurry to the tools without pulsation. A control module features a touch screen operator interface and single-point utility connections. The MTBF rate is >3000 hours. (Semicon Southwest, Booth 1030)

Transparent-Film Metrology Tool

Rudolph Technologies

Flanders, NJ

The SpectraLASER UTF characterizes ultrathin films and film stacks at a thickness accuracy of ±0.5 Å. Tool-to-tool matching throughout the fab is ±0.1 Å for films 100 Å thick. The system incorporates a proprietary ellipsometer that combines multiple angle of incidence data acquisition and multiple laser wavelengths to measure a spectrum of optical properties. An automation platform makes the tool suitable for SMIF and 300-mm process uses. (Semicon Southwest, Booth 722)

POU Photochemical Filter


Bedford, MA

Designed for advanced i-line and DUV use, the Impact LHVD filter wets instantly in photochemical solvents. The filter accommodates most photoresists, and its hollow-fiber membrane does not create microbubbles, a common cause of defects. Minimal gel breakthrough ensures a high rate of gel slug retention. The membrane's pores retain hard particles, making the filter suitable for use with advanced photolithography processes. Because the filter does not drip, it minimizes operator exposure to photochemicals during changeout. The three-step procedure requires no tools and takes only a few seconds. (Semicon Southwest, Booth 1614)

Wide-field 193-nm Stepper

ASM Lithography

Tempe, AZ

Based on the architecture of the PAS 5500 stepper, the PAS 5500/900 incorporates a Carl Zeiss Starlith 900 lens with calcium fluoride elements for partial achromatization. To achieve 150-nm resolution, the step-and-scan system has an argon fluoride laser source as well as a Zeiss Aerial II illuminator with high-transmission calcium fluoride and aspherical optical elements. The 193-nm wide-field system is suitable for preproduction of 1- to 4-Gb DRAMs and gigahertz-speed ICs using 150- and 130-nm processes. Lens contamination caused by outgassing from 193-nm photoresists during exposure is avoided because of the long distance between the final lens element and the surface of the resist. Numerical aperture can be adjusted from 0.45 to >0.6, producing a field size of 26 x 33 mm. (Semicon Southwest, Booth 1013)

Wafer Test Systems

Keithley Instruments

Cleveland, OH

The expanded System 80 series of measurement instruments provides simultaneous quasistatic and high-frequency C-V testing. The combined capabilities ensure measurement accuracy during characterization of interface trap densities and doping profiles in wafer processing. The systems can be used to test thin-film transistors in AMLCD manufacturing as well. Different models in the series accommodate a range of uses. Model 82-WIN includes instrumentation, cables, and software for a complete simultaneous C-V system. Capabilities include testing for oxide thickness, interface trap density, average doping, threshold voltage, and metal semiconductor work function. The System 82 rack-mounted turnkey tool performs all the measurements of the Model 82-WIN system. Similar to System 82, System 83 also offers complete thermal chuck probing suitable for measurements on C-V dots >=100 µm. System 86 has the same features as the previous models with the added benefit of full I-V instrument integration. (Semicon Southwest, Booth 1006)

Ultrasonic Cleaning Equipment


Jamestown, NY

Using universal transducers, ultrasonic cleaning equipment operates at frequencies of 40, 72, 104, or 170 kHz. Single-tank or multistation systems incorporate sweeping frequency or proSONIK 2 generators for process control. Systems are available with stainless-steel tanks, quartz tanks, and tanks with overflow weirs. Manual or automated modular systems come with options such as coved corners, electropolished tanks, and DI water distribution. (Semicon Southwest, Booth 2700)

Chemical Air Filter

Extraction Systems

Franklin, MA

The VaporSorb Rooftop filter removes airborne molecular contaminants and reduces the discharge of amines to the sub-parts-per-billion range. The filter protects against total molecular base gas-phase contaminants, and the unit can be used in place of OEM filters. The filter also avoids the NMP bleeding common to ion-exchange filters. (Semicon Southwest, Booth 2231)

Turnkey Wafer-Handling System

Automation Modules

Fremont, CA

Designed for OEM use, the automated WHU300 accepts a SEMI-standard front-opening unified pod (FOUP), opens the pod, and transfers the wafers inside it to the process station. After processing, the turnkey handling system transfers the wafers back to the FOUP. Each system is customized for a specific tool and integrated into the process chamber, reducing tool development cycles. The system's modularity is designed to help process tool OEMs to hold R&D costs, minimize inventories of automation subsystems, and accelerate time to market.

Minienvironment Filter Modules

Precision Controlled Environments

Hendersonville, NC

Customized air-handling systems fit minienvironment footprints to provide 100% filtration and maximum laminar flow. The air-handling units meet 300-mm specs and incorporate Gore-tex filter media to ensure low levels of molecular outgassing and particle shedding. Filter face velocity is 40—90 ft/min, and the filter removes 99.9999999% of all particles measuring >=0.07 µm. Options include integrated lighting and automatic balancing pressure controls.

Mass Spectrometry System

Pfeiffer Vacuum

Nashua, NH

The OmniStar mass spectrometry system monitors exhaust from CVD processes and provides process control during maintenance of CVD tools. The system tracks purge gas flow and all other key functions to ensure that the scrubber is removing contaminants properly. The gas analyzer's wiring can be adapted to measure specific gases, and specially designed turbo and diaphragm pumps provide purge gas capability to extend pump life. Windows-based Quadstar 422 software facilitates data collection and manipulation. (Semicon Southwest, Booth 2113)

Refrigerated Recirculator

Bay Voltex

Livermore, CA

The Tempryte HT-1650-WC-G recirculator for etch, CVD, and CMP processes operates at —10° to 100°C. Cooling capacity is 17,000 Btu/hr at a circulating coolant temperature of 20°C and an ambient temperature of 20°C. The system features a magnetically coupled pump, diagnostic lights, and coolant pressure of 0 to 100 psi via a liquid-filled gauge. The pump operates at 4 gal/min at 50 psi. An adjustable coolant overtemperature warning light, reservoir coolant-level warning light, and earthquake mounts are some of the safety features. To minimize leaks, the system uses few compression fittings or hose clamps. The stainless-steel reservoir holds 3 gal of coolant. The recirculator is certified to SEMI S2-93 and CE standards. (Semicon Southwest, Booth 421)

Magnetic Drive Pump

Magnatex Pumps

Houston, TX

The Texel MET-80 series pump is available with linings made of either ETFE or PFA to safely handle toxic or corrosive fluids. The pump has no seals and is designed to accommodate the transfer of high-purity chemicals. The component uses rare-earth magnets to ensure nonslip magnetic drive. The pump operates at flow rates to 340 gal/min, in temperatures 250°F, and at working pressures 99 psi.

Extrusion Coating System

FAS Technologies

Dallas, TX

The FAS-Coat extrusion system coats substrates 1200 x 1600 mm in plasma display panel, high-density interconnect, and AMLCD applications. The extrusion coating tool can reduce material waste by more than 90% over spin-coating systems. The head moves over the substrate being coated, reducing the amount of cleanroom space required in comparison with systems in which the substrate moves under a stationary head. Uniformity is >±2% for photoresists, polyimides, and color filters, and a uniformity of ±3% can be reached with the glass frit used for making barrier ribs in plasma display processes. Real-time automatic head leveling and head height adjustment are standard features.

Quartz Acid Heater

Trebor International

West Jordan, UT

The ultrapure-quartz flow path of the IQ acid heater has no O-rings or other potential particle traps. A proprietary fused resistive element transfers heat at an efficiency rate of 99% and handles temperatures 180°C. The heater can be installed in plenums and requires no maintenance during its operating life of up to 20,000 hours. The 3-kW 208-V heater modules come in turnkey systems operating at 3, 6, 9, or 12 kW. (Semicon Southwest, Booth 1504)


Dow Corning

Midland, MI

Nonpyrophoric and noncorrosive, 9-5170 trimethylsilane, semiconductor grade, is a replacement gas for SiH4 in PECVD dielectric film processes. The process gas meets purity and safety standards and can be safely stored for a long period under proper conditions. It can be used with all CVD tools. No customized gas delivery systems are needed, and existing SiH4 lines can be converted for immediate use. Applications include passivation, diffusion barrier, MEMS, chemical barrier, and intermetal dielectric uses. Purity levels are <1 ppm by volume for air, total hydrocarbons, and moisture and <0.5 ppm for carbon dioxide.

High-Flow Solenoid Valves

Valcor Scientific

Springfield, NJ

High-flow SV81-series pumps use a proprietary Dri-solenoid design and a bellows diaphragm to isolate the metal operating parts from the fluid. Available in three models, the valves require no minimum pressure to operate at a liquid pressure capability of 40 psig. Made of TFE Teflon, the valves handle ultrapure water and a range of caustic solutions, making them suitable for a range of process applications.

Sealing Material

DuPont Dow Elastomers

Wilmington, DE

Sealing components made from Kalrez Sahara UltraPure 8375 provide chemical and thermal resistance in plasma, gas, and thermal environments. The perfluoroelastomer parts resist surface erosion and particle generation caused by aggressive plasmas, allowing users to maintain proper pressure, temperature, and gas concentration in single- and multichamber process tools. Uses include slit valves, chamber lids, lip seals, doors, and port windows. Used in deposition processes, the material offers low levels of permeation and outgassing. Suitable for use in temperatures 300°C, the elastomer can also be used in diffusion furnaces, LPCVD tools, and RTP equipment. (Semicon Southwest, Booth 1100-1)

Oxide CMP Slurry


Aurora, IL

SEMI-Sperse D7000 slurry is manufactured for volume production of devices with linewidths 0.18 µm. Designed for dielectric film use, the slurry can be used in oxide CMP applications for both shallow and deep-trench isolation. The ultrafine abrasive grain size enables high planarization and uniformity across the wafer. (Semicon Southwest, Booth 1207)

Process Equipment Software


White Plains, NY

SiView MATE is an object-oriented tool set for equipment automation designed to increase yield, improve equipment effectiveness, and minimize scrap. The tool set supports SECS/HSMS/ GEM-based protocol interfaces as well as interfaces for in situ devices such as logic controllers. It can be used to extend the capabilities of most MES systems by providing a platform for advanced functions in equipment/device connectivity, alarm management, statistical process control, and preventive maintenance. Using the system, users can create, test, modify, and run applications to monitor, coordinate, and track the operation of fab equipment. The tool set's library has functional building blocks which can be linked to allow users to integrate third-party object-oriented software components. The tool set supports the Windows NT and IBM AIX operating systems. (Semicon Southwest, Booth 2018)

Gas Analysis System

Leybold Inficon

East Syracuse, NY

The Transpector CIS2's closed ion source detects contaminants in process gases to the sub-parts-per-million level. Control functions are contained in a single device mounted on the instrument, reducing the amount of rack space needed. TranspectorWare software enables automatic or manual control of all components and shows system status. (Semicon Southwest, Booth 901)

Gas Dryers

Perma Pure

Toms River, NJ

Gas dryers remove water vapor from samples without changing the analyte gas concentrations. The dryers are made of Nafion, a modified version of Teflon that absorbs water as water-of-hydration while keeping its chemical resistance. Gas streams passing through Nafion tubing allow water vapor to be absorbed as the rest of the sample remains unchanged. The water is purged from the tubing's exterior. The sample dew point reaches a temperature >=—45°C. The dryer has no moving parts and no routine maintenance is required.

Cleanroom Vacuum Cleaner

Nilfisk-Advance America

Malvern, PA

Equipped with a ULPA exhaust filter, the GM 80CR meets Class 10 cleanroom standards. The four-stage filtration system captures 99.999% of all particles >=0.12 µm. The first-stage filter is a 21/4-gal-capacity disposable bag which captures most of the debris. The large second-stage filter ensures an even flow of air. The third step prior to ULPA filtration features a microfilter to protect the motor. The cleaner comes with a conductive 10-ft hose. ESD-protected accessories include a 3-in. round brush with synthetic bristles and a crevice nozzle. The cleaner and accessories are packaged in polyethylene bags. (Semicon Southwest, Booth 718)

Shipper Cleaning System


San Jose, CA

Ultra-6200 series cleaners use dual-action cleaning to remove particulates and ionic contaminants from wafer cassettes and hard-disk shippers. The systems are designed to clean shippers at a rate 3 to 10 times better than conventional spray cleaning alone. (Semicon Southwest, Booth 313)

Cleanroom Adhesive Tape

Ultratape Industries

Salem, OR

Made specifically for cleanroom use, #1170 DUCtape features a high tack level. Unlike traditional duct adhesives, the particle-free tape leaves no residues or contaminants.

Ultratrace Oxygen Analyzer

Delta F

Woburn, MA

The NanoTrace II detects oxygen concentrations at levels of 75 and 50 ppt. Automatic calibration, automated data and graph logging can provide plots of oxygen concentrations for periods of up to 30 days. An automated maintenance log supports good metrology practice and ISO requirements. Additional features include a backlit display and a lowest-range output of 0 to 2 ppb. (Semicon Southwest, Booth 2012)

Pick of the Literature

The following companies are offering free literature:

  • Extraction Systems, total molecular base real-time monitor brochure. Information: 800/992-0281; fax, 508/553-3901.

  • Gow-Mac Instrument, analytical instruments catalog. Information: 610/954-9000; fax, 610/954-0599.

  • Kaye & MacDonald, pressure regulators brochure. Information: 973/674-8060; fax, 973/674-9227.

  • Luxo, microscope product line brochure. Information: 914/658-8393; fax, 914/658-9635.

  • Mek-A-Nize Engineering, No Compromise robot arm brochure. Information: 719/598-3555; fax, 719/548-9227.

  • Nitto Kohki USA, Quick Connect Semicon couplers brochure. Information: 630/924-9393; fax, 630/

  • Norton Performance Plastics, high-performance film brochure. Information: 973/696-4700; fax, 973/696-4056.

  • OI Analytical, 1998—1999 analytical instrumentation catalog. Information: 409/690-1711; fax, 409/690-0440.

  • Rudolph Technologies, Pulse technology for copper film thickness and uniformity measurements technical note. Information: 973/691-1300; fax, 973/691-5480.

  • Scantek, Norsonic precision measuring and analyzing instrumentation 1998—1999 catalog. Information: 301/495-7738; fax, 301/495-7739.

  • Sensotec, FP2000 series pressure transducers brochure. Information: 800/848-6564; fax, 614/850-1111.

  • Sierra Instruments, S-Series Smart thermal mass flowmeters technical literature. Information: 800/866-0200; fax, 408/373-4402.

  • Silicon Resources, nonaminic photoresist adhesion promoters for microelectronics applications literature. Information: 602/345-2411; fax, 602/345-1817.

Product Extra!

The ultrashallow junction module from Applied Materials combines advanced ion implant and RTP technologies, enabling semiconductor manufacturers to form the transistor junctions needed for faster device designs, the process tool supplier says. The module provides a characterized, production-ready process based on Applied's xR LEAP ion implantation tool and RTP XEplus Centura system. Applied notes that subtle process variations following implantation can offset the depth of implanted dopants, adversely affecting device performance and lowering yield. Information: 408/727-5555.

Made for use with FEI's XL800 series of SEM and DualBeam defect review tools, Moves automation software is designed to give operators fast and accurate access to the best possible image of a specific submicron defect. The program increases the number of defects that can be characterized per hour by automatically compensating for sample rotation and tilt and by controlling complex stage motions. Operators are able to keep the defect in their field of view and automatically adjust image quality. Information: 503/640-7500. (Semicon Southwest, Booth 1932)

An enhancement to Varian's medium-current implanters increases throughput by as much as 22 implants per hour. The ScanMaster II is a solid-state scan amplifier upgrade for Model 300XP, 350D, DF-3000, and DF4 systems. The upgrade is designed to improve microuniformity and reduce implant time. Multiprobe tests using a random sampling technique have shown a 2% increase in usable die per wafer, claims Varian, adding that the amplifier can reduce cost of ownership by 13%. Information: 650/424-5781. (Semicon Southwest, Booth 738)

The NOWPak SmartProbe key-coded connector from NOW Technologies is designed to eliminate chemical misconnections to process tools. Applications include DUV, i-line photoresists, g-line photoresists, polyimides, HMDS, developers, coatings, and removers. A new pressure-assist option allows users to connect a chemical container with pump-style delivery systems requiring pressure initialization. The key-coded retainer on the system's mechanical interlock permits connections only with an identically coded SmartCap closure. Information: 612/829-4443.

Nikon's new rotary metrology stage permits users to measure parts on microscopes, profile projectors, and video measuring systems, then download the data for output and analysis. The new stage can be used to review and analyze manufacturing defects of all kinds. It mounts on all Nikon measuring stages, and three specialized chucks handle a variety of parts. Information: 800/52-Nikon, ext. P8022. (Semicon Southwest, Booth 931)

Rapid Ship is Watlow Gordon's program to send stock sensors the same day when orders are placed by 2 p.m. The supplier carries more than 65 sensors for use in the program. Custom orders can be shipped within 72 hours. Information: 815/678-2211. (Semicon Southwest, Booth 2402)

White Oak Semiconductor presented KLA-Tencor with its first annual supplier of the year award. White Oak said KLA-Tencor received the highest rating of all the suppliers evaluated. The chipmaker, a joint venture between Siemens and Motorola, said the inspection and metrology tool vendor ranked high in areas such as equipment startup, installation schedule compliance, and technical service. Based in Richmond, VA, White Oak makes 64-Mb DRAMs on 8-in. wafers. Information: 408/875-3000.

Nova Measuring Systems of Rehovoth, Israel, is one of the winners of the 1998 Photonics Circle of Excellence Awards. The award recognized the NovaScan 420 integrated thickness monitoring system, an automatic spectrophotometer designed to produce rapid, accurate thin-film thickness measurement of patterned product wafers in CMP and other processes. Installed directly on the process tool, the on-line tool operates in real time in air or water. Benefits include an improvement in throughput, a large reduction in wafer handling, and less cleanroom space requirements. Information: +972 8 9387505; fax, +972 8 9407776.

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