Macro Defect Inspection, Metrology and Review Cluster Tool


Product Description

CIRCL™ is a cluster tool with four modules, covering all wafer surfaces and providing parallel data collection at high throughput for efficient process control. The modules comprising CIRCL include: front side macro defect inspection; edge inspection, profile and metrology; back side defect inspection and review; and, optical review and classification of front side and edge defects. Data collection is controlled by DirectedSampling™, an innovative approach that uses results from one measurement to trigger other types of measurements within the cluster. The CIRCL tool is utilized for multiple applications within the fab, including lithography process monitoring and 3D metrology for outgoing quality control. The modular configuration of CIRCL offers flexibility for varying process control needs, saves overall fab space, reduces wafer queue time, and provides a cost-effective upgrade path to protect a fab’s capital investment.


LDS3400: Front side macro defect inspection module
  • New generation LDS technology with simultaneous full-color brightfield and multi-angle darkfield optics enables capture of a broad range of macro defects
  • Color algorithm supports detection of unique macro defects and automatic defect classification capability
  • Wafer-to-golden wafer solution reduces nuisance defects and enables full-wafer defect capture
  • Improvements to the camera intensity increase the signal-to-noise of critical defects compared to previous-generation LDS macro inspection tools
CV310i: Edge inspection, profile and metrology module
  • Unique, multi-channel optical design based on VisEdge™ technology leverages simultaneous brightfield, darkfield and phase-contrast modes to capture a broad range of macro and micro edge defect types with industry-leading sensitivity
  • Rules-based defect classification algorithms operate on multi-channel data to minimize edge background noise and achieve high defect classification accuracy and purity
  • Unique phase channel and continuous-scan design enable one-pass measurement of the complete edge bead removal (EBR) film stack, allowing accurate characterization of coverage, concentricity and uniformity of the edges
  • Edge defect inspection and multi-layer edge metrology in the near-edge and top bevel regions of the wafer include data from patterned areas, to provide greater coverage and more accurate determination of the film edge
  • Calibrated, automated edge profile measurements facilitate incoming quality control dispositioning
  • Edge profile feedback to the metrology algorithm results in accurate measurement of film stack height (“z-cut”) in the bevel
  • Simultaneous edge inspection and metrology capabilities enable comprehensive data collection from all zones comprising the wafer’s edge: top and bottom near-edge; top and bottom bevel; and apex
BDR300: Back side defect inspection and review module
  • Back side contamination control addresses front side defocus issues in the lithography cell and prevents chuck contamination before the wafer enters the litho track
  • Significant sensitivity improvement compared to previous generation system enables clear identification of handling fingerprints at high throughput
  • Brightfield and darkfield color imaging for topography and film analysis
  • Fully automated color review microscope offers high resolution defect imaging for defect root cause analysis
  • Advanced algorithms provide separation of defects of interest (DOI) and suppression of nuisance defects
  • On-tool identification of backside fingerprint signatures drives review sampling to capture critical defects only
  • Concurrent inspection and defect review produces the best cost of ownership
INS: Optical defect review and classification module
  • Brightfield, darkfield and differential interference contrast (DIC) optical modes enable re-detection and accurate classification of the widest range of defects
  • DUV and UV optics with full autofocus capability produce high resolution imaging of defects and surrounding structures
  • High throughput automated defect review reduces time-to-results for critical process decisions
  • SpotCheck™ applications:
    • Reticle ID check verifies that the correct reticle was used for printing
    • Macro overlay error monitoring checks layer-to-layer pattern registration
    • 3D macro shape metrology enables outgoing quality control

Process Monitor: With high throughput and a modular design, CIRCL provides comprehensive data for process monitoring. The use of DirectedSampling within the module results in actionable data that can accelerate root-cause determination. Furthermore, tool-to-tool matching for each module within CIRCL facilitates flexible WIP routing and the best baseline stability.

Lithography: CIRCL is ideally suited for use within the lithography cell. The front side defect inspection module captures a wide range of critical litho defects including particles, defocus defects spanning several die and full-wafer missing resist. The optical defect review and classification module provides several SpotCheck applications including Reticle ID check to verify that the correct reticle was used to print the wafer and macro overlay error monitoring to check layer-to-layer pattern registration. The back side defect inspection and review module detects contamination and scratches that can result in defocus issues when printing pattern on the wafer front side. The edge module’s inspection capability is used to detect edge defects and film delamination that could be transported to the pattern areas during immersion lithography causing yield loss. Finally, the edge bead removal module’s metrology capability is used to characterize the EBR concentricity of BARC, resist and topcoat process layers in the litho stack, helping engineers to identify overlapping film edges that can lead to film delamination and increased defectivity for immersion lithography. Through high-throughput, parallel collection of multi-surface wafer data, CIRCL enables lithography engineers to quickly identify critical issues and take fast corrective action to prevent yield loss.

Outgoing Quality Control (OQC): CIRCL provides 3D macro shape metrology, enabling outgoing quality control for advanced packaging. In addition to front side defect inspection, edge inspection and edge metrology, CIRCL measures X, Y and height (Z) for complete characterization of PAD layers.

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


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