Reticle Defect Inspection Systems for IC Fab Applications
The X5.2 and Teron 611 reticle defect inspection systems enable IC fabs to perform "early warning" reticle checks with high sensitivity, reducing the risk of printing defective wafers before the excursion is caught. TotalRequal capability also allows reticle pattern degradation to be detected before wafer critical-dimension uniformity is compromised.
- The Teron 611 reticle defect inspection system provides technology-enabling sensitivity to inspect the most critical masks at the 20nm node.
- The X5.2’s high sensitivity allows inspection of non-critical masks at the 20nm node, and full mask sets at previous nodes.
- Both tools incorporate technology for early detection of pattern degradation from cleaning or exposure, to alert engineers to process window narrowing before the point of collapse.
- Fifth-generation STARlight® inspection mode delivers full area coverage on multi- and single-die reticles; preferential defect capture on edges and sidewalls of pattern; and dependable capture of defects in open areas.
- Advanced algorithms provide reliable discrimination between nuisance events and defects of interest (DOI).
- Highly flexible architecture allows adjustment of sensitivity and speed to address a fab’s changing product mix, product life cycle and yield status.
- Optional high-throughput configuration allows the X5.2 reticle defect inspection system to lead the industry in number of masks inspected per day.
- Unique connectivity between the X5.2 or Teron 611 and KLA-Tencor’s e-beam defect review platform, the eDR-7000, enhances speed and accuracy of on-wafer defect population profiling.
- Optional Klarity Reticle data analysis and management system is designed to help engineers disposition the reticle and optimize its cleaning frequency based on historical trends
- X5.2 reticle defect inspection systems are available as new systems or as field upgrades to existing TeraFab models.
Reticle re-qualification: High sensitivity defect inspections are needed for early detection of haze and other progressive defects that occur unpredictably in the fab. Because these defects threaten the yield of every subsequent wafer printed, capturing the reticle defects before they are printed on the wafer is the best means of protecting yield. Once the reticle is cleaned, it is inspected again to re-qualify it for the production line.
Total ReQual: The concept of Total ReQual extends reticle re-qualification beyond defect detection to incorporate other changes that may happen during a reticle’s lifetime in the fab. Degradation in the pattern from repeated cleaning or exposure may begin to narrow the process window. Early detection of changes to the mask pattern can be critical for maintaining device yield, performance and reliability.
Incoming quality inspection: Many leading fabs use KLA-Tencor reticle inspection systems to verify the specs of reticles delivered to the fab, to check for defects added during shipment, to benchmark vendors, or as part of a routine quality-control program.
For other reticle defect inspection tools, please see K-T Certified.
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