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Surfscan SP3 from KLA-Tencor employs DUV illumination for higher defect sensitivity

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Product Briefing Outline: KLA-Tencor has introduced a new generation to the ‘Surfscan’ family of wafer defect and surface quality inspection systems. The Surfscan SP3 is claimed to be the  first unpatterned wafer inspection platform to incorporate deep-ultraviolet (DUV) illumination, enabling a dramatic improvement in sensitivity and throughput over KLA-Tencor’s previous offering, the Surfscan SP2XP. The Surfscan SP3 platform is also designed for extension to 450mm wafers.

In the IC fab, manufacturers must also be able to monitor rough and smooth unpatterned films after deposition and chemical mechanical polish (CMP) to ensure that process tools are not adding defects. Defect detection issues escalate with the migration to smaller feature sizes, requiring higher sensitivity from inspection equipment. The Surfscan SP3 system is designed to help develop and manufacture substrates for < 28nm 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.

The Surfscan SP3 leverages its unique DUV wavelength, special apertures and multiple illumination and collection channels to address stringent 28nm node requirements for defect detection and classification on blanket films at production speeds. The SP3 also offers a module that inspects the back side of wafers for defects that might deform the wafer shape during photolithography. 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. The SP3 also offers a module that inspects the back side of wafers for defects that might deform the wafer shape during photolithography.

Defect inspection for 300mm and 450mm wafers at the 28nm node and below.

The Surfscan SP3 includes a new stage and new image computer that, together with algorithm improvements, enable increased production throughput; DUV-specific apertures that enhance defect capture on blanket films; Integrated, high resolution (~100 mega-pixel), 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.

July 2011 onwards.

New Surfscan SP3 DUV unpatterned wafer defect and surface quality inspection system enables wafer, equipment and chip manufacturing for the 2Xnm nodes.

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