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Proceedings Paper

New laser scanning techniques for wafer inspection
Author(s): Mehrdad Nikoonahad; Brian C. Leslie; Stanley E. Stokowski; Brian M. Trafas; Keith B. Wells
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Paper Abstract

A laser scanning system designed for inspection of patterned wafers is described. This system addresses the inspection needs for 64 Mb (0.35 micrometers ) and 256 Mb (0.25 micrometers ) DRAM process technologies. The system is capable of detecting contaminant particles and planar pattern defects on memory and logic devices. The throughput of the system is designed for 30 wafers (200 mm in diameter) per hour. The beam at 488 nm is brought to a focal spot and is scanned on the wafer surface using an acousto-optic deflector (AOD). The entire wafer is scanned under oblique illumination in narrow strips in a serpentine fashion. The specular beam is collected and processed in, what we have named, the autoposition sensor (APS) to servo- lock the height position of the wafer during the scan. The system utilizes multiple independent collection channels positioned around the scan line and it is possible to select the polarization of the collected light for enhanced signal-to-background ratio. The engineering tradeoffs for realizing a system with high throughput and sensitivity are formulated and discussed. Calculations ilustrating scattering from submicron size particles under various polarization conditions are shown. These results lead to optimum design for collection optics. The APS channel is described and illustrated by results indicating that it is possible to keep the surface height of the wafer constant to within 0.4 micrometers in the presence of large changes in topography and wafer reflectivity. Results obtained from a range of production wafers demonstrating detection of 0.1 micrometers anomalies on bare wafer, 0.3 micrometers on memory devices, and 0.4 micrometers on random logic structures are presented.

Paper Details

Date Published: 18 September 1995
PDF: 17 pages
Proc. SPIE 2638, Optical Characterization Techniques for High-Performance Microelectronic Device Manufacturing II, (18 September 1995); doi: 10.1117/12.221207
Show Author Affiliations
Mehrdad Nikoonahad, Tencor Instruments, Inc. (United States)
Brian C. Leslie, Tencor Instruments, Inc. (United States)
Stanley E. Stokowski, Tencor Instruments, Inc. (United States)
Brian M. Trafas, Tencor Instruments, Inc. (United States)
Keith B. Wells, Tencor Instruments, Inc. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 2638:
Optical Characterization Techniques for High-Performance Microelectronic Device Manufacturing II
John K. Lowell; Ray T. Chen; Jagdish P. Mathur, Editor(s)

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