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Proceedings Paper

Yield enhancement in micromechanical sensor fabrication using statistical process control
Author(s): Jeffrey T. Borenstein; Douglas M. Preble
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Paper Abstract

Statistical process control (SPC) has gained wide acceptance in recent years as an essential tool for yield improvement in the microelectronics industry. In both manufacturing and research and development settings, statistical methods are extremely useful in process control and optimization. Here we describe the recent implementation of SPC in the micromachining fabrication process at Draper. A wide array of micromachined silicon sensors, including gyroscopes, accelerometers, and microphones, are routinely fabricated at Draper, often with rapidly changing designs and processes. In spite of Draper's requirements for rapid turnaround and relatively small, short production runs, SPC has turned out to be a critical component of the product development process. This paper describes the multipronged SPC approach we have developed and tailored to the particular requirements of an R & D micromachining process line. Standard tools such as Pareto charts, histograms, and cause-and-effect diagrams have been deployed to troubleshoot yield and performance problems in the micromachining process, and several examples of their use are described. More rigorous approaches, such as the use of control charts for variables and attributes, have been instituted with considerable success. The software package CornerstoneR was selected to handle the SPC program at Draper. We describe the highly automated process now in place for monitoring key processes, including diffusion, oxidation, photolithography, and etching. In addition to the process monitoring, gauge capability is applied to critical metrology tools on a regular basis. Applying these tools in the process line has resulted in sharply improved yields and shortened process cycles.

Paper Details

Date Published: 5 September 1997
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 3223, Micromachining and Microfabrication Process Technology III, (5 September 1997); doi: 10.1117/12.284491
Show Author Affiliations
Jeffrey T. Borenstein, Charles Stark Draper Lab., Inc. (United States)
Douglas M. Preble, Charles Stark Draper Lab., Inc. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 3223:
Micromachining and Microfabrication Process Technology III
Shih-Chia Chang; Stella W. Pang, Editor(s)

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