Microwave plasma abatement system
The Sirius 6000 abatement system addresses greenhouse gas abatement challenges arising from dielectric and polysilicon etch processes used in semiconductor manufacturing. The company claims the unit uses an energy-efficient microwave plasma in a carefully controlled chemical environment and an integrated wet scrubber to reduce fab greenhouse gas emissions by as much as 95% over a range of total flow rates and perfluorocompound (PFC) concentrations. The plasma reduces PFC gases to hydrogen fluoride (HF) and prevents the creation of harmful by-products, such as carbon tetrafluoride. The hydrofluoric acid and any other remaining by-products are then removed from the exhaust stream in the integrated wet scrubber, preventing harmful emissions from reaching the atmosphere. The system is already deployed and in operation at select customer fabs in Asia and Europe. Edwards Vacuum, Crawley, West Sussex, UK; ph +44 (0) 8459 21 22 23, www.edwardsvacuum.com.
Conductor etch series
Kiyo3x delivers CD uniformity of 1nm, 3-sigma variation, enabling advanced applications such as double patterning. Its field-upgradable options provide a flexible approach for addressing high-k/metal gate, hardmask open, shallow trench isolation, and strained silicon. The new Kiyo3x series includes improvements in wafer temperature control that enable radial tuning for edge control and profile shaping. For complex film stacks such as high-k/metal gate, the system provides multi-film etch capability in a single chamber, which results in a 50% to 100% productivity advantage over a two-chamber approach, claims the company. Lam Research, Fremont, CA USA; ph 510/572-0200, www.lamresearch.com.
Pulsed nucleation layer tungsten deposition platform
The ALTUS Max, the latest enhancement to the company’s pulsed nucleation layer (PNL) tungsten deposition platform, targets high-volume memory megafabs. The system reportedly uses the latest technology and advanced processing capability to provide tungsten films that meet or exceed 20nm memory requirements for fill, resistivity, roughness, and defects. The company claims it is the first atomic layer deposition tungsten system to break the 120WPH throughput barrier. The system employs SwiftTrak wafer handling for improved throughput and reliability. In addition, the new ALTUS Max Multi-Thickness Recipe management system, in which wafers of different film thicknesses can be processed simultaneously within the same chamber, further improves the system efficiency. The system will be available for volume shipment beginning in Q4 2008. Novellus Systems Inc., San Jose, CA USA; ph 408/943-9700, www.novellus.com.
The HiRes Generation THRU-Scan enhances through-transmission imaging with the company’s C-SAM line of acoustic microscopes. Reflection-mode acoustic imaging (the most frequently used mode) is limited to a defined depth within a sample, but THRU-Scan images the whole thickness in one scan, according to the company. For example, a plastic-encapsulated microcircuit might have five layers. Reflection-mode imaging typically selects one or two internal interfaces to image for anomalies or defects. But THRU-Scan images the whole thickness of the part—all five layers and all four interfaces—simultaneously, and reveals a defect or anomaly at any depth. Often THRU-Scan is used along with reflection-mode imaging to simultaneously verify the x-y location of a defect and specify its depth. Sonoscan Inc., Elk Grove Village, IL USA; ph 847/437-6400, www.sonoscan.com.