Broadband Plasma Patterned Wafer Defect Inspection Systems
2920 Series 2910 Series NanoPoint

Product Description

The 2920 Series broadband plasma defect inspection systems provide significant advancements in optical defect inspection, enabling discovery of yield-critical defects on leading-edge IC devices. Using third-generation broadband plasma illumination technology, new optics modes, and NanoPoint™ technology, the 2920 and 2925 broadband plasma defect inspectors provide the flexibility required to capture a wide range of optical defect types and to address future defect inspection challenges. The sensitivity of the 2920 Series is paired with optical inspection speed, enabling Discovery at the Speed of Light – the combination of fast defect discovery and full characterization of defect issues for proven reduction in defect learning cycle times. The 2920 Series broadband plasma inspectors are part of a portfolio of advanced wafer defect inspection tools that accelerate the development and production ramp of leading-edge memory and logic devices.

  • A third-generation broadband plasma illumination source delivers twice the light of the 2910’s broadband plasma source for increased signal on very small yield-critical defects
  • A new deep ultra violet (DUV) wavelength band and the industry’s smallest optical inspection pixel provide significantly increased resolution for detection of very small defects, such as subtle protrusions and tiny bridges
  • Multiple optical innovations – including high-resolution optics, low-noise sensor, two-dimensional Direction E-Field, selectable apertures and numerous wavelength bands – boost defect signal, reduce wafer noise, and provide the flexibility required to detect new defect types across a broad range of process layers and device types
  • Accu-ray™ and Flex Aperture technologies quickly determine the best optical inspection settings for capture of critical defect types, significantly reducing the time required to discover critical yield issues
  • New advanced algorithms suppress noise related to pattern or process variations, increasing defects’ signal-to-noise ratios for ultimate sensitivity
  • Higher data rate provides the 2920 Series with an average throughput increase of 30% compared to the 2910 Series enabling increased sampling for improved process control
  • Stage delivers sub-0.5μm defect coordinate accuracy for faster and more efficient review and classification of defects on the wafer
  • Extendible platform architecture protects a fab’s capital investment
  • Synergy with KLA-Tencor’s e-beam defect review and classification systems enables accurate and rapid identification of small defects for faster yield learning

NanoPoint enables discovery and monitoring of yield-killer defects by leveraging critical patterns on the 2920 Series optical defect inspectors. A family of patented technologies, NanoPoint helps drive Discovery at the Speed of Light by providing a significant improvement in sensitivity on the 2920 Series defect inspectors while maintaining optical inspection speed. During chip development, NanoPoint utilizes critical pattern information to find the tiny defects that can affect yield the most dramatically, accelerating the identification of design issues that reveal the need for mask re-design. For high volume production, NanoPoint is implemented on the 2920 Series defect inspectors to monitor defectivity on critical patterns, providing much earlier warning of process drift, which allows engineers to take corrective action before yield is affected.


Lithography: The technological innovations implemented on the 2920 Series broadband plasma defect inspectors deliver significantly improved defect capture on after-develop inspection (ADI) layers. The 2920 Series’ performance on ADI is comparable to the defect capture results obtained at after-etch inspection (AEI). This allows engineers to inspect product wafers at ADI instead of AEI, shortening the time required to identify critical excursions in the patterning process and reducing the number of wafers scrapped. In addition, the 2920 Series’ integrated design-aware capability and NanoPoint technology can provide improved process window qualification (PWQ) performance, helping engineers to quickly identify sources of systematic yield loss throughout the lithography process module.

Etch: Used in critical etch line monitoring applications, the 2920 and 2925 optical defect inspection systems utilize a powerful third-generation broadband plasma illumination source and new optical modes to capture voids, residues, micro-bridges, bottom bridges, protrusions, and other yield-limiting etch defect types. In addition, by leveraging critical patterns, NanoPoint can discover and monitor yield-relevant etch defects in dense pattern areas, providing engineers with early feedback on design errors or process drift. In addition, Accu-ray and Flex Aperture technologies reduce the time required to discover etch defects, enabling faster time to resolution of yield issues.

CMP Defects: With the sensitivity improvements provided by increased light intensity, new optical modes and advanced algorithms, the 2920 Series broadband plasma optical defect inspectors can detect opens, voids, bridges and other critical defects on CMP layers. By focusing CMP defect inspection on critical patterns, NanoPoint technology significantly reduces noise due to line edge roughness and metal grain on BEOL Cu CMP layers, enabling detection of very tiny yield-killer CMP defects in dense pattern regions at advanced design nodes. The performance of the 2920 defect inspector on CMP layers enables faster process development and better yield monitoring in the CMP process module.

Additional Products

    2910 and 2900 Series: Provides high sensitivity at high throughput for capture of yield-critical defects on 2X/1Xnm memory and logic devices.

For other broadband patterned wafer defect inspection tools, please see K-T Certified.

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