Crossing Automation intros Spartan sorter options

Crossing Automation, Inc. announced three new options for the Spartan 300 that deliver an end-to-end contamination-free sorter environment. The new options target high volume manufacturing at 32nm and below where new levels of contamination control have become a requirement to ensure process performance. Crossing’s advanced environmental controls reduce on-wafer defects, prevent cross-contamination and surface oxidation, as well as reduce required tool maintenance to achieve increased device reliability and manufacturing yields.

The three new options are the Spartan Enerta Purge Option, the industry’s fastest available environmental purge; the Chemical Filter Option for Spartan; and the Low Contact Backside End Effector Option. Available independently, the options can be combined to achieve the most contamination-free sorter environment. All products are currently shipping and have seen strong early adoption, with an installed base of over 100 each for the Chemical Filter Option and Low Contact Backside End Effector Option, and multiple orders received for the Spartan Enerta.

Using pure, ultra-clean nitrogen, the Spartan Enerta Purge Option is able to achieve relative humidity below 5 percent within 85 seconds for incoming FOUPs, making it the fastest N2 purge available in the industry. It protects the wafers from O2 and H2O exposure, preventing native oxide growth and corrosion of copper interconnects while reducing the impact of chemical residue that could react with water vapor and create additional damage. It also reduces the impact of critical timing between process steps by reducing exposure to oxygen and water vapor.

The Spartan Enerta is a combination front opening unified pod (FOUP) nozzle purge and door purge. The door purge combines a top and side manifold that allows it to maintain purge with the door open and while wafers are moving in and out of the FOUP. Careful gas management and flow control enable a rapid purge while eliminating the particle contamination associated with conventional purging technologies. The system uses advanced recipe-controlled purging that provides complete user control over ramp and flow rates, all under full manufacturing execution system (MES) control.

The Chemical Filter Option for Spartan addresses the issue of airborne molecular contamination (AMC), which, due to its microscopic size, is able to penetrate standard clean room filters. This causes a number of process yield and reliability issues, particularly at the 32nm node and below. Use of this option eliminates AMC and provides filtered air in the minienvironment to ensure the wafers stay clean between FOUPs.

The Spartan Low Contact Backside End Effector achieves industry-leading cleanliness to eliminate backside particles, which are increasingly impacting process performance as manufacturing nodes shrink. Crossing’s Low Contact Backside End Effector eliminates the migration of edge or backside particles onto the active portion of the wafer to reduce defectivity.


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