Following are the Top Products of 2006 in semiconductor/thin-film processing, selected by Solid State Technology’s editorial advisory board from those featured each month in Product News.
Applied Materials Inc.’s Endura iLB II 300mm/45nm integrated liner/barrier
The system combines PVD titanium and preclean technologies to reduce resistance in critical contact structures by up to 40%, and a PVD eSIP Ti chamber offers 30% more wafer bottom coverage than the previous version. Applied claims the system is proven low Rc with effective clean compatible with NiSi layers, and meets low thermal-budget requirements for integration with NiSi contacts. www.appliedmaterials.com.
Nikon Corp.’s NSR-S610C immersion lithography tool
The NSR-S610C immersion lithography tool (NA=1.30) incorporates a “tandem-stage” platform used with the company’s immersion products, a proprietary nozzle design, and an airless fluid handling process (300ml/min) instead of an air curtain. The company reports a single tool overlay specification of <6.5nm and 4.5mλ aberrations in the three-mirror catadioptric projection lens. www.nikonprecision.com
Tokyo Electron Ltd.’s Temeon wafer-level MEMS tester
The Temeon wafer-level microelectromechanical system (MEMS) tester helps manufacturers isolate and validate electrical and mechanical functionality at the wafer level prior to packaging. The tool lets customers test mechanical as well as electrical performance, and offers increased fault coverage to minimize package waste at the wafer level. A low-force contact methodology eliminates adverse effects to wafer yield due to strain applied to MEMS structures that may alter performance. www.tel.com.
Varian Semiconductor Equipment Assoc.’s VIISta 900XP ion implanter
The VIISta 900XP has an increased upper energy range and a single-wafer architecture to enable zero implant-angle capability with output of 500wph. The implanter incorporates the Varian Control System, the Varian Positioning System, and a common single-wafer endstation. www.vsea.com.
Mattson Technology Inc.’s Atmos dual-chamber single-wafer RTP system
The Atmos dual-chamber single-wafer rapid thermal processing system, built on the company’s Helios platform, enables a range of rapid thermal oxidation applications for 300mm and 70nm-32nm chip manufacturing, including selective oxidation and shallow-trench isolation. Features include a modular dual-chamber platform, an integrated pyrogenic water-vapor generator, and dual-side wafer heating to reduce pattern-related temperature effects. www.mattson.com.
KLA-Tencor Corp.’s Candela CS20 automated wafer inspection system for HB-LEDs
The Candela CS20 automated wafer inspection system for high-brightness LEDs nondestructively inspects transparent substrates and epi layers at up to 25wph. Optical profilometry, scatterometry, phase shift, and reflectometry methods are combined to inspect materials such as sapphire, gallium nitride, and silicon carbide for defects including micropits, crystal defects, lattice mismatch, stains, and particles. www.kla-tencor.com.
Novellus Systems Inc.’s SOLA UV thermal processing platform
The SOLA (sequentially optimized luminescent anneal) 300mm ultraviolet thermal processing platform blends standard lamp-based UV light sources with a multistation sequential processing architecture, with reported throughput of 20-40wph. Wafers pass in series through four stations allowing for different temperatures, light frequencies, and lumen intensities. www.novellus.com.
EV Group’s EVG770 step-and-repeat UV-based NIL stepper
The EVG770 step-and-repeat UV-based nanoimprint lithography (NIL) stepper, developed in conjunction with German research foundry AMO GmbH, targets R&D work and small-scale production for 32nm node semiconductor manufacturing. It features resolution down to 10nm, and sub-50nm overlay alignment accuracy via a dual-stage alignment approach. www.evgroup.com.
Rudolph Technologies Inc.’s S3000/S2000 ellipsometry-based thin-film metrology tools
The S3000/S2000 ellipsometry-based metrology systems for ≤0.18µm 300mm and 200mm device fabrication are designed for thin-film (20-20,000Å) metrology, with modules for thin-film, CMP, etch, and lithography applications. The tools, built on the company’s Vanguard process control platform, use a fifth-generation focus-beam ellipsometry technology, incorporating long-life laser light sources for high accuracy, long-term stability, small spot size, and easy tool-to-tool matching. Deep-UV and visible reflectometry capabilities are optional. www.rudolphtech.com.
Oxford Instruments plc’s FlexAl plasma ALD tool
The FlexAl atomic layer deposition (ALD) tool, developed in conjunction with the Eindhoven U. of Technology, enables use of low-temperature deposition, high-density and ultrathin films, and high film purity, as well as thermal ALD processing, for up to 200mm sample wafers for semiconductor, OLEDs, and MEMS manufacturing. Processes reportedly have been developed for materials including TiN, HfO2, high-k dielectric, Al2O3 down to room temperature, and single-metal Ru, plus very low-resistivity nitride and metal films. www.oxford-instruments.com.