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KLA-Tencor offering delivers surface planarity process control

Posted: 06 Jul 2004 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:kla-tencor? af-lm 300? atomic force microscopy? afm?

KLA-Tencor Corp. unveiled what it claims as the first true line monitoring solution for trench depth and surface planarity process control based on atomic force microscopy (AFM).

According to the company, the AF-LM 300 delivers high reliability, unmatched ease of use, and increased throughput compared to traditional AFMs. It enables chipmakers to support up to 100 percent lot sampling on the production floor at the 90nm and 65nm nodes, providing tighter process monitoring, which in turn helps chipmakers produce better performing and higher yielding devices.

The new system is based on KLA-Tencor's Archer 10 overlay metrology platform, which, according to them, offers excellent stage speed and accuracy, and unparalleled industry reliability. The system also incorporates an AFM head developed jointly with SII NanoTechnology Inc. and a supplier of scanning probe instruments.

The AF-LM 300's stage, optics and scanners work together to achieve a move-and-measure data acquisition time of <30s, more than twice as fast as that of traditional AFMs. In addition, the Linnik interferometer from the AF-LM 300's pattern-recognition system feeds forward the wafer surface position to the AFM head, enabling rapid tip-to-surface approach.

"For today's advanced semiconductor processes, nanometer-level process variations can affect transistor quality and have a significant impact on our customers' ability to command higher ASPs with their leading-edge products," said Sergio Edelstein, VP and GM of KLA-Tencor's Film and Surface Technology Division. "With the AF-LM 300, we provide our customers with a tool that can cost-effectively and reliably meet their production monitoring requirements for critical front-end structures, enabling them to achieve higher margins and lower cost of goods on their advanced devices."

Key applications include shallow trench isolation (STI) etch and CMP, trench capacitor recess, and interconnect etch and CMP control.

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