July 11, 2002 – Milpitas, CA – Nanometrics Inc., a supplier of integrated and standalone metrology equipment, has introduced its next-generation stage technology platform.
Designed to be the foundation for Nanometrics’ metrology for years to come, the 300mm metrology platform offers users enhanced performance and simplified process tool integration in an ultra-compact package, the company said. The new atmospheric stage technology is compatible with Nanometrics’ next-generation measurement and inspection technologies and all of its current metrology products.
The R-theta stage technology is compatible with 300mm high volume manufacturing requirements, including high throughput, an edge-gripping wafer chuck, and integral wafer alignment, all without backside contact, Nanometrics said. Edge gripping ensures that there is no wafer yield loss due to backside particulate contamination. In addition, optical pre-alignment technology is integrated into the stage, which means that it only has to be performed once.
Using Nanometrics’ patented R-theta technology, the platform offers high precision capabilities that reduce the total search time needed to perform pattern recognition, Nanometrics touted. This increased accuracy means that the platform enables repeatable placement onto smaller measurement pads without additional pattern recognition steps on product wafers. The new platform boasts a slew rate of 15 inches/second, according to the company.
Nanometrics lowered the number of components and cables required by the new technology to simplify its integration into OEM process tools. The controller, power supplies, optical pre-alignment technology, and character recognition have all been included in the platform, reducing the total number of additional components that users must integrate into the process tool, Nanometrics said. Additionally, the new platform will facilitate multiple Nanometrics measurement and inspection technologies onto a single platform.