Semi-automated cleaning system
Cobra SA is a semi-automated cleaning system designed to provide a smaller-footprint, lower-cost alternative to automated systems. It features a two-tank architecture with a VcS multistep clean and rinse tank and an HF tank for metals removal. All controls and plumbing needed to operate the system are self-contained, along with a Windows NT-based graphical touchscreen user interface. In production post-CMP cleaning applications, the VcS noncontact process has shown higher wafer throughput than brush scrubbers, with added productivity gains from the elimination of frequent brush changeouts. Cobra SA is available in single-cassette configurations for 150 and 200mm wafers. Post-CMP cleaning applications include oxide, tungsten, and copper. Verteq Inc., Santa Ana, CA; ph 714/445-2000, fax 714/445-2204, www.verteq.com.
Copper electroplating technology
The Electra Cu Integrated ECP (ElectroChemical Plating) system integrates copper deposition with critical heat treatment and wafer edge clean processes in a single platform. Annealing is a key step in the copper process, increasing the conductivity of the deposited copper and stabilizing it for subsequent CMP. Traditionally performed in a separate furnace, the process can be performed on the new system, saving cleanroom floorspace, increasing electroplating productivity, reducing cycle time, and minimizing wafer contamination. Also integrated on the system is a new bevel clean process with guaranteed 3mm edge exclusion that gives higher yields by extending the number of usable die/wafer. Applied Materials Inc., Santa Clara, CA; ph 408/563-0647, fax 408/986-8352, www.appliedmaterials.com.
Film metrology solutions
The S200 metrology systems, for diffusion and thin-film deposition, use MatrixMetrology, which provides an application-optimized set of metrology techniques. Both tools combine ultrasmall-spot ellipsometry, microspot visible reflectometry, and integrated applications software customized for diffusion or thin-film deposition. The S200 Diffusion system has a small ellipsometer spot (5 x 10µm) with its 633, 780, and 458nm HeNe laser ellipsometer for on-product measurement and a microspot (2.5µm) visible reflectometer (470-905nm) for high throughput (120 wph) film thickness measurement. It also has a DUV (190-470nm) reflectometer and High Repeatability Mode (HRM) with mili-Å repeatability. The HRM option provides a reapeatability of <0.006Å on 30Å SiO2 over 12 hours. The S200 Thin Film system has a small-spot 633 and 780nm ellipsometer, a microspot visible reflectometer, and a DUV reflectometer for measuring anti-reflective coatings used in lithography processes. Both systems feature fast, robust Zheng pattern recognition, which has superior performance on low-contrast wafers and very good immunity to color and contrast variation. Rudolph Technologies Inc., Flanders, NJ; ph 973/691-1300, e-mail email@example.com, www.rudolphtech.com.
Process management software
This new software suite, PMC-Net, connects all yield, process, and test-floor-related data into a single, automated data-collection, analysis, and reporting system. The software's objective is to translate isolated data into a comprehensive data-management system that will effectively measure, identify, and source defects, and make possible immediate corrective action. It is made up of a number of components. First is the centralized database that stores all yield-relevant data from across the fab in a single format, eliminating data imcompatibility issues. Second is the Applications Suite, a group of modular yield-analysis programs using a decision flow analysis software architecture that facilitates wafer lot disposition, increases productivity, and allows excursion identification in real time. The third is a proprietary integration technology that facilitates real-time communication across all of this company's tools, ensuring integration quality and facilitating tool software upgrades. KLA-Tencor, San Jose, CA; ph 408/875-7039, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, www.kla-tencor.com.
Matrix reduction and concentration
The CleanSTAR system was developed for sample preparation of ultrapure materials for ppb/ppt analysis. The system is automatic and can run unattended; it acts like a miniature cleanroom each vessel has its own individual vacuum line and HEPA-filtered or pure nitrogen air inlet. CleanSTAR reduces concentration time to minutes instead of hours and provides special "auto-detect" software that determines dryness and prevents burning of the sample. The system reduces small or large volumes and is suitable for high-purity specialty chemicals, microelectronics, and semiconductor materials. CEM Corp., Matthews, NC; ph 800/726-3331 or 704/821-7015, fax 704/821-8710, e-mail email@example.com, www.cem.com.
Ultrapure water piping system
The Harvel LXT piping system is produced from an innovative PVC compound that is specifically formulated to reduce leachable contamination when exposed to ultrapure-water environments. The system offers several advantages, including a noncontaminating material with very low-extractable contaminants (particularly TOC and trace metals), extremely smooth interior walls, strong Schedule 80 dimensions, a specialty one-step solvent-cement joining system that cures quickly, and translucency for visual inspection of joint integrity. Harvel Plastics Inc., Easton, PA; ph 610/252-7355, fax 610/253-4436, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, www.harvel.com.
Tape and reel system
The NT-216 tape and reel system handles all discrete components up to D-Pak size and all small passives with a throughput up to 30,000 parts/hr. It accepts input from vibratory bowl feeders, leadframes, and tube feeders, and outputs to tube or to tape widths from 8 to 16mm. The system features a 16-position rotary turret that is synchronized with a rotary table used for laser marking and mark inspection. This advanced vision system inspects for both mark presence and lead integrity. The NT-216 can perform as a stand-alone test handler in bulk sorting applications, sorting to two tape and reel tracks. Electrical tests with up to four separate Kelvin (clamping or nonclamping) test stations are available as an option, and another option sorts components in up to 11 separate bins. The system can be used in-line to trim the device from the leadframe and form the leads. Ismeca USA Inc., Vista, CA; ph 760/305-6224, 760/305-6294, e-mail email@example.com., www.ismeca.com.
FTIR measurement tool
FILM-EXPERT 300 is an FTIR measurement tool for the most advanced and chemically complex thin films on wafers up to 300mm. It combines advanced optics, model-based analysis, and highly stable FTIR to extract detailed chemical and physical information from most semiconducting and dielectric layers. Patent-pending optics provide accurate quantitative data from reflectance measurements on product wafers, with no artifacts or biases from stray backside reflections, even on IR-transparent, lightly doped substrates. Properties measured include thicknesses of multilayers, transition layer thickness, functional group composition, chemical composition, strain level, carrier concentration, carrier activation, extent of cure, extent of bake, moisture, and impurities. Applications include low-k dielectrics, photoresists, epi silicon, poly silicon, SOI, gate oxides, nitrides, oxides, deep trench layers, shallow junctions, thin metal layers, and silicon germanium. On-Line Technologies Inc., East Hartford, CT; ph 860/291-0719, fax 860/289-7975, www.online-ftir.com.
Overlay metrology tool
The Q200 is an automated 200mm overlay metrology tool for <=0.13µm processes. Throughput of 80 wafers/hr at 20 sites/wafer is achieved by fast pattern recognition and robotic wafer handling; real-time measurement analysis guarantees rapid process feedback. Proprietary optics and advanced measurement algorithms ensure measurement integrity and provide improved precision and TIS. The Q200 measures all layers, including the most challenging, such as CMP, buried layers, grainy images, and image contrast reversals. Measurement data are accessible via network connections, and user-defined recipes are fully transferable. Bio-Rad Semiconductor Systems Div., Hercules, CA; ph 650/934-8800, fax 650/934-8810, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
DUV aluminum mirrors
Based on high-density aluminum coating technology, broadband DUVAL deep-UV aluminum mirrors reflect 90-92% at 193nm and are more durable than standard UV-protected Al mirrors. They are well suited to thin-film ellipsometry and semiconductor metrology and are available on UV-grade fused silica, CaF2, or MgF2 substrates. The mirrors have a surface figure of lambda/10 at 633nm after coating. They are available off-the-shelf or in production quantities, and in round, square or rectangular shapes. CVI Laser Corp., Albuquerque, NM; ph 800/296-9541, fax 505/298-9908, e-mail email@example.com, www.cvilaser.com.
Slow pump valves
SPV Series three-position, high-vacuum pneumatic valves are designed to control a pumpdown cycle that is virtually turbulence-free to sensitive vacuum systems. By opening the bypass valve first, a slow pumping is achieved. Once the system reaches a determined vacuum level, the parent valve is opened, allowing full pumping speed. The valves feature removable orifices to allow flexibility. Key High Vacuum Products Inc., Nesconset, NY; ph 631/360-3970, fax 631/360-3973, www.keyhigh.com.
Dry screw pumps
The VS Series dry screw primary pumps are designed for such processing applications as primary pumping for turbo- and ion-pumped systems, cryogenic pump roughing, and other uses that demand a clean, hydrocarbon-free environment. They provide very good performance for semiconductor processes that include CVD nitride, metal etch, and polysilicon deposition. The VS pumps are designed to withstand high particulate levels and to operate at high internal temperature to prevent condensation of process chemistry. The pumps incorporate a dual-screw design with an extremely short gas path and wide mechanical tolerances to avoid interference with particulates generated during wafer processing. The compact VSp model is designed for light corrosive applications such as load locks, sputtering, and ion implantation; the high-performance VSr model is suitable for the most corrosive processes, including LPCVD, etch, and TEOS applications. The VS Series pumps are available in pumping speeds from 18 cfm to 270 cfm. Varian Vacuum Technologies, Lexington MA; ph 800/882-7426, e-mail matt.kosakowski @vpl.varian.com, www.varianinc.com.
IBAL cassette-to-cassette automation is designed for safe loading and unloading of wafer boats from horizontal furnaces. Modular design allows the automation to be configured in various ways, meeting individual requirements without the need for additional cleanroom space. High reliability is achieved through the use of simple two-axis robotics. Using one flat panel color touchscreen, customers can designate which tube boats of wafers are to be loaded, reducing the chances of scrap. IBAL is available for all furnace brands. Amtech, Tempe, AZ; ph 480/967-5145, fax 480/968-3763, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Combination reticle stocker
The Combination Reticle Stocker saves costly floorspace in the lithography bay by providing the high-density storage environment of a bare reticle stocker and the fast access to pre-kitted reticles of a pod or box stocker. The stocker can be configured to store up to 5000 bare reticles and up to 400 reticles stored in industry-standard pods or boxes. A reticle-handling robot on the bare reticle side gently places a reticle into a carrier and closes the carrier. Another robot on the pod or box side takes the carrier, moves it to a storage shelf, and delivers it to the operator I/O. The pod or box side permits pre-kitting, ensuring that reticles are available to the operator when required. The Combination Reticle Stocker integrates with this company's AeroTrak overhead monorail system, allowing reticle delivery to the lithography bay from anywhere in the fab. PRI Automation Inc., Billerica, MA; ph 978/670-4270 ext 3161, e-mail email@example.com, www.pria.com.
Large-area lithography system
HexScan series lithography tools are suitable for the large-area patterning requirements of manufacture of a variety of microelectronic products. The 3000, 2000, and 1000 series machines can handle both rigid and flexible substrates and are designed for high-volume, low-cost production of flat-screen or flexible displays, MCMs, high-density interconnect products, flexible electronics, and PCBs. The machines use a modular design and incorporate this company's hexagonal seamless scanning technology, which combines high-resolution projection imaging and large-area exposure. Resolution ranges from 25µm to <1µm. Discrete substrates can be as large as 610 x 915mm. Flexible substrates can also be handled in roll-to-roll format (Model 3100 SRE). The systems use various excimer laser sources: at 351, 308, or 248nm. Models 3100 SXE and 2100 SXE provide the capability for both resist exposure and photoablation of vias in dielectrics. Throughputs of HexScan tools are up to 5 ft2/min for resist exposure and several tens of thousands of vias/sec for dielectric ablation. Automatic alignment and part handling is available on all models. Anvik Corp., Hawthorne, NY; ph 914/345-2442, e-mail zcosentino@anvik. com, www.anvik.com.
These ArF 193nm pellicles have passed rigorous lifetime and transmission testing and offer uniformity of <=0.3% and transmittance of >=99%, with no particles >1.0µm. Products are also available for g-line, i-line, and LCD applications. Fine Semitech Co., Fremont, CA; ph/fax 510/651-3325, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, www.pellicle.com.
The Hydro-Flow 2300-A insertion vortex flowmeters are constructed from corrosion-resistant PVDF material and are suitable for flow monitoring of ultrapure water, acids, and solvents. They feature a microprocessor-based piezo-resistive vortex sensor with no moving parts, eliminating the possibility of fluid contamination and providing trouble-free maintenance. The sensor ensures high accuracy at low flows (as low as 0.3 ft/sec) with a 65:1 turndown. Fluidyne, Longmont, CO; ph 303/651-0352 ext 10, fax 303/678-7154, e-mail email@example.com.
Wafer analysis software
WaferAnalyzer 2.0 is a powerful software application designed to aid engineers in solving defect problems in silicon wafer manufacture. It features the ability to read multiple file formats from wafer inspection systems and geometry measurement systems. With the pattern identification algorithm, WaferAnalyzer 2.0 enhances process engineering speeding data collection, automating the reporting and charting functions, and providing a visual interface for complex data. It can operate on the engineer's desktop, as well as in the cleanroom environment, allowing engineers to focus on process optimization instead of data collection. ADE Corp., Westwood, MA; ph 617/831-8089, fax 781/467-0500, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, www.ade.com.
SPEEDFILM BX is an ultralow-k dielectric material that is thermomechanically stable and has an effective glass-transition temperature >400°C. It has a nominal dielectric constant of 2.1 with a very low effective dielectric constant that is achieved by using much thinner capping layers than those used with brittle, porous dielectric materials. SPEEDFILM BX is a water-based PTFE/siloxane nanocomposite and is the only solid ultralow-k IC dielectric available. It is chemically inert with respect to all known semiconductor processor chemicals presenting no known diffusion problems when used with aluminum and it is highly compatible with copper when titanium nitride is used as a barrier material. W.L. Gore & Assoc., Eau Claire, WI; ph 800/689-0701, www.gore.com.
This indium metal is offered for III-Vs and other semiconductor applications in purity grades designed for high quality and performance. 6N5WCI is an extremely pure indium, with controlled impurities, which gives superior performance for a range of applications that also use 7N (such as III-Vs), but at a lower price. This company can supply precisely the appropriate grade of purity for a specific application without sacrificing quality. Indium Corporation of America, Utica, NY; ph 315/853-4900, fax 315/853-1000, e-mail askus@indium. com, www.indium.com.