KLAC targets 28nm and below with Surfscan SP3 inspection systems

July 11, 2011 — KLA-Tencor Corporation (NASDAQ:KLAC) launched a new generation in its Surfscan family of wafer defect and surface quality inspection systems: the Surfscan SP3. The unpatterned wafer inspection platform uses deep-ultraviolet (DUV) illumination and is extendible to 450mm wafers.  

With Surfscan SP3, KLAC recognizes the need for substrate development and manufacture for =28nm devices. Defects such as crystalline pits, terracing, voids, etc., are problematic for current generation tools when applied at 28nm and below.

Amir Azordegan, senior director of marketing for Surfscan at KLA-Tencor, explains how the new DUV wafer inspection platform detects such defects at more advanced nodes. He also describes the significance of combining DUV illumination with special apertures, multiple illumination and collection channels. The new tool has a module that inspects the backside of wafers for defects that might deform the wafer shape during lithography.

Figure 1. Surfscan SP3 sensitivity at throughput. SOURCE: KLA-Tencor

"From the standpoint of the user, the two key advances in the new platform are sensitivity and throughput," said Azordegan. "The new tool and its predecessors each have three or four operating points, and, predictably, sensitivity can be gained by operating the system at a lower throughput (Fig. 1). However, the SP3


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