29xx/28xx Series

Broadband Patterned Wafer Defect Inspection Systems
2910 Series NanoPoint 2900 Series 28xx Series

The 2910 Series broadband defect inspection platform provides significant advancements in optical defect inspection, enabling capture of previously undetectable wafer defects on challenging process layers and die areas. Using Gen-2 PowerBroadbandTM technology, high-resolution optics, two-dimensional Directional E-FieldTM, new optics modes, and NanoPointTM technology, the 2910 and 2915 broadband defect inspectors provide the flexibility required to capture a wide range of yield-critical defect types and to address future defect inspection challenges. The 2910 Series broadband defect inspection tools 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.

  • Gen-2 PowerBroadband, a laser-pumped plasma light source, delivers twice the light of the 2830’s original PowerBroadband source for increased signal on very small yield-critical defects
  • New operating mode that provides significantly increased light over the 2900 Series and new optical apertures produce improved capture of tiny defects, such as voids and bottom 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 and address new inspection challenges
  • A 12-bit dynamic range provides increased defect capture in high-contrast die areas such as memory transition regions
  • Higher data rate provides the 2910 Series with an average throughput increase of 40% compared to the 2900 Series enabling increased sampling for improved process control
  • In-line Design Attribute (iDA), integrated design aware capability, utilizes standard IC design layout information to improve capture of yield-relevant defects during inspection
  • Offline setup reduces the time required for defect inspection recipe setup and improves recipe quality, providing increased tool capacity, better sensitivity and faster time to results
  • Ease-of-use implementations, including assisted care area setup for embedded SRAM structures and integrated support for selecting the best combination of optics modes for a given layer, accelerate recipe setup and improve recipe sensitivity
  • Stage delivers sub-0.5um 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
  • Shared user interface with other KLA-Tencor inspectors and review tools optimizes inspector capacity and reduces production integration time

NanoPoint enables discovery and monitoring of yield-killer defects by leveraging critical patterns on the 2910 Series optical defect inspectors. A family of patented technologies, NanoPoint provides a significant improvement in sensitivity on the 2910 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 2910 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. Available as an upgrade to the 2910 Series optical defect inspectors, NanoPoint provides a cost-effective means for obtaining a significant sensitivity improvement by extending IC manufacturers’ existing capital investment.


Lithography: The technological innovations implemented on the 2910 Series broadband optical defect inspector deliver significantly improved defect capture on after-develop inspection (ADI) layers. The 2910 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 2910 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 2910 and 2915 broadband inspection tools with Gen-2 PowerBroadband, 2D Directional E-Field and new optical apertures capture voids, pattern residue, micro-bridges, bottom bridges, protrusions, and other yield-limiting etch defect types. The 12-bit dynamic range implemented on the 2910 Series enables detection of these critical etch defects at the edges of arrays and in memory transition regions. 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.

CMP Defects: With the sensitivity improvements provided by Gen-2 PowerBroadband and
high-resolution optics, the 2910 Series broadband optical defect inspector has detected sub-10nm opens on Cu CMP layers, 15nm voids on STI CMP layers, bridges at Cu CMP, and other critical CMP defects. 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 sub-15nm yield-killer CMP defects in dense pattern regions at advanced design nodes. The performance of the 2910 defect inspector on CMP layers enables faster process development and better yield monitoring in the CMP process module.

Additional Products

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

28xx Series: Provides broad defect type capture at production throughputs for 4X/3X/2Xnm memory and logic devices.

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

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