February 9, 2011 — After a year of beta testing and product analysis, CyberOptics Semiconductor, Inc. has released the WaferSense Airborne Particle Sensor (APS) for wafer processing equipment to the semiconductor market. The sensor identifies particle sources in tools, moving through semiconductor process equipment and automation material handing systems to monitor airborne particles. It reports information in real-time on wafer contamination.
The product has a wafer-like shape compatible with existing automation and wireless communication providing real-time data. APS reduces time locating particle sources, according to the company.
With real-time views of particle conditions, process engineers can address specific trouble spots and be better prepared to pass particle qualifications on the first attempt. The metrology device can also be used to establish a baseline and to ensure operations continue on this baseline as part of preventive maintenance.
The Airborne Particle Sensor uses a fan to pull non-corrosive gas or air through a channel as a laser illuminates the air/gas stream while particles scatter light onto the sensors photodiode. Compatible with front-ends, coater/developer tracks, deposition and etch equipment, the APS has the ability to detect particles as small as 0.1µm. The automation-friendly semiconductor sensor doesn’t require engineers to open chambers or expose ultra-clean process areas to the environment. The sensor can detect particles in real-time without opening the tool.
Using the Airborne Particle Sensor’s companion software, ParticleView and ParticleReview, fab engineers can collect and display particle data wirelessly to see the effect of adjustments in real time. Particle data can be recorded to compare past to present operations as well as one tool to another to conduct machine-to-machine trend analysis of particle conditions and to establish process control and conduct process improvement.
The Airborne Particle Sensor is available in 200, 300, and 450mm (special order) wafer-like form factors.
CyberOptics Semiconductor develops wireless products that seamlessly measure critical parameters in semiconductor fabrication processes and equipment. CyberOptics Semiconductor is a subsidiary of CyberOptics Corp. (Nasdaq:CYBE). For more information on the Airborne Particle Sensor, visit http://www.cyberopticssemi.com/products/wafersense/aps/