Surfscan wafer inspection platform from KLA-Tencor first to use DUV illumination

July 22, 2011
Milpitas, CA--A new generation in KLA-Tencor's family of wafer inspection systems—the Surfscan SP3 with DUV illumination—was introduced for 28 nm and below semiconductor nodes.

Milpitas, CA--A new generation in the Surfscan family of wafer defect and surface-quality inspection systemsthe Surfscan SP3was introduced by KLA-Tencor Corporation (NASDAQ: KLAC), a provider of inspection and metrology technologies for the semiconductor, data storage, LED, photovoltaic, and other nanoelectronics industries. Surfscan SP3 is the first unpatterned wafer inspection platform to incorporate deep-ultraviolet (DUV) illumination, enabling dramatic advances in sensitivity and throughput over its predecessor, the Surfscan SP2XP.

"Launching a new Surfscan platform is an exciting event for KLA-Tencor," said Ali Salehpour, senior VP and general manager of the Surfscan/ADE division at KLA-Tencor. "The visible-light Surfscan SP1 and the UV-illuminated Surfscan SP2 were well received by the industry; in fact, Surfscan tools can be found in every leading-edge substrate and chip manufacturing facility. Now we're announcing the first DUV unpatterned wafer inspection platform, to satisfy the industry's need for increased sensitivity at production speeds at the 28nm device node and below. We believe that the Surfscan SP3 will carry the Surfscan reputation for excellence in substrate and integrated circuit (IC) process tool qualification into the next generation." The Surfscan SP3 platform is also designed for extension to the next wafer size: 450 mm.

The Surfscan SP3 system is designed to help develop and manufacture substrates for less than or equal to 28 nm devices that are nearly atomically smooth and free from polish marks, crystalline pits, terracing, voids or other defects that disrupt the electrical integrity of the transistor. Because these defects cannot be reliably detected by current-generation inspection systems at production speeds, substrate manufacturers have had difficulty achieving satisfactory yields with these top-grade, next-node wafers. KLA-Tencor's engineers have built the Surfscan SP3 inspection system with the DUV sensitivity and throughput needed to reliably identify critical defects and surface quality issues inline during substrate manufacturing.

Surfscan SPe features DUV source and DUV-optimized optics to help capture critical defects affecting devices at the 28 nm node and below; new stage and new image computer with algorithm improvements for increased production throughput; DUV-specific apertures that enhance defect capture on blanket films; high-resolution (approximately 100 megapixel), full-wafer SURFmonitor haze maps, providing automated capture of ultra-fine slip lines and scratches or maps of surface roughness, grain size and other process parameters; and defect coordinate accuracy improvements that enhance re-detection and speed of defect review and classification on KLA-Tencor's eDR electron-beam review tools, allowing engineers to track down the source of a defect excursion quickly and disposition wafers accurately.


About the Author

Gail Overton | Senior Editor (2004-2020)

Gail has more than 30 years of engineering, marketing, product management, and editorial experience in the photonics and optical communications industry. Before joining the staff at Laser Focus World in 2004, she held many product management and product marketing roles in the fiber-optics industry, most notably at Hughes (El Segundo, CA), GTE Labs (Waltham, MA), Corning (Corning, NY), Photon Kinetics (Beaverton, OR), and Newport Corporation (Irvine, CA). During her marketing career, Gail published articles in WDM Solutions and Sensors magazine and traveled internationally to conduct product and sales training. Gail received her BS degree in physics, with an emphasis in optics, from San Diego State University in San Diego, CA in May 1986.

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