Industrial Electronics

Metrology solution improves semiconductor fab process control

10 April 2023

Picarro Inc., a provider of chemical metrology systems for advanced semiconductor fabs, has unveiled its SLiM 100 Lithography Process Tool Monitoring System. The new 1 ppb class chemical metrology solution detects volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in the lithography process in real time, enabling semiconductor manufacturers to quickly take steps to prevent excursions and detect non-visual defects, thereby improving yield.

As design features shrink, small amounts of airborne molecular contamination (AMC) from VOCs are resulting in significant increases in non-visual defects on reticles and wafers. Crystal growth defects on reticles, hazing of scanner optics, and t-topping of photoresists are some of the serious problems that are caused by the presence of undesired VOCs. Ultimately, these contaminants not only damage expensive lithography tools — they result in yield loss on the wafer.
Source: Picarro Inc.Source: Picarro Inc.
To mitigate the negative effects of VOCs in the lithography process, fab operators need real-time measurements of VOCs at very low concentration levels. This is very difficult to do in the fab environment with traditional technologies because they are slow and difficult to use.

The SLiM 100 system delivers real-time measurement in a device designed to run 24/7 in the fab environment. It is a fully integrated chemical metrology system that is robust, easy to operate, and is ideal for high-volume process monitoring and control. It measures and monitors 10 organic compounds that negatively affect the lithography process with concentration sensitivity down to 1 ppb and can also accommodate analyzers that measure inorganic molecules at ppt concentration levels.

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