15 Jan 2015
Fraunhofer IPMS works with South Korean test company NextIn on smarter semiconductor tester.Fraunhofer Institute for Photonic Microsystems, Dresden, Germany, is collaborating with South Korean semiconductor inspection system maker NextIn to evaluate a wafer defect inspection that integrates fine scale bright- and dark-field scanning.
The inspection system is being assessed in the clean room of Fraunhofer IPMS' Center for Nanoelectronic Technologies. The tool allows for the visual detection, automatic classification and characterization of different defect types on semiconductor wafers of diameter 200 and 300mm.
The NextIn Aegis I Wafer Inspection System allows both bright field and dark field imaging in one tool, which significantly increases the number of different applications in semiconductor research and development. Once the evaluation has been completed, NextIn expects to offer a flexible metrology tool for the 28 nm (and 2x nm) technology nodes, demanded by the semiconductor industry.
Benjamin Uhlig, head of the Interconnects group at IPMS-CNT told optics.org, “Our role in this project is to provide a neutral evaluation platform for this new measurement system. We are offering Nextin a dedicated clean room testing environment and the benefit of our experience in the semiconductor manufacturing area.
”There are other tools that offer the capability of both bright and dark field scanning from a single tool but they are usually specified for much larger defect sizes. Other systems operating at the 28nm feature analysis scale are either bright or dark systems, which are optimised in different ways.
”It is good to cover both applications from the same tool for FABs and bigger production companies to save time, cost and integrate the different applications. Nextin developed the integrated bright-/dark-field tool and what we are doing is to demonstrate the capabilities of the tool on real wafers for test and verification. We are also helping to continuously improve the tool together with NextIn.
“This project creates synergy effects because this type of equipment is important for the research and development of FEoL, MoL and BEoL processes. Additionally, this collaboration serves to expand our business relationships into Asia. Our benefit is exposure to the Asian semiconductor manufacturing community; Nextin is also establishing a stronger connection with European R&D and markets.”
About the Author
Matthew Peach is a contributing editor to optics.org.