March 17, 2011Applied Materials Inc. (AMAT) debuted the Applied DFinder darkfield inspection system, which uses deep ultraviolet (DUV) laser scanning for particle sensitivity down to 40nm on patterned wafers.

The product suits inspecting the interconnect layers in 22nm and below memory and logic chips.

AMAT claims that the tool, designed specifically for interconnect inspection, provides a cost of ownership (COO) up to 40% lower than other darkfield systems.

The DFinder system’s exclusive DUV laser illumination technology enables the detection of all particles of interest at the 22nm node, down to 40nm in size, which AMAT reports is over 30% smaller than other darkfield systems. Its proprietary grazing-angle optical path and full polarization control effectively isolate particles from the pattern on production wafers, enabling it to find yield-limiting particles while producing an order of magnitude fewer "false alarm" and nuisance defects. Un-patterned test wafers are virtually unneccessary.

"We have already sold multiple systems and have repeat orders for volume production," said Ronen Benzion, vice president and general manager of Applied’s Process Diagnostics and Control business unit.

Applied Materials Inc. (Nasdaq:AMAT) provides equipment, services and software to enable the manufacture of advanced semiconductor, flat panel display and solar photovoltaic products. Learn more at

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