Surfscan Series

Unpatterned Wafer Surface Inspection Systems  
Surfscan SP3 Surfscan SP2XP Surfscan SP2 SURFmonitor

Product Description

Surfscan Series

Available in 450mm, 300mm, and 300mm/450mm bridge tool configurations, the Surfscan® SP3 unpatterned wafer inspection tool utilizes deep ultra-violet (DUV) sensitivity and a throughput up to three times that of its predecessor to reliably detect critical defects and surface quality issues for IC, OEM and substrate manufacturing at the 2Xnm design node. The Surfscan SP3 can provide higher sensitivity on bare wafers and blanket films than that of the previous-generation Surfscan SP2/SP2XP. Alternatively, the Surfscan SP3 can operate at a sensitivity similar to that of the Surfscan SP2/SP2XP, but much higher throughput, enabling increased sampling for a lower cost of ownership. The tool also includes an integrated, high resolution SURFmonitor module that characterizes and measures surface quality, helping wafer manufacturers deliver substrates with superior surface quality and chipmakers measure surface roughness and detect subtle defects.

Surfscan Series
  • Powerful DUV source, DUV-optimized optics and algorithm improvements deliver sensitivity to defects as small as 26nm on prime wafers
  • DUV-specific optical apertures enhance defect signal on films for a sensitivity improvement of up to 50% over the previous-generation Surfscan SP2/SP2XP
  • A new stage, image computer, and optics produce significant throughput enhancements compared to the Surfscan SP2/SP2XP for fast defect sourcing and wafer dispositioning
  • Integrated, high-resolution SURFmonitor enables characterization of surface quality, including measurement of surface roughness and capture of ultra-fine slip lines and scratches
  • Full-wafer, calibrated, high resolution haze maps allow potential correlation to atomic force microscope (AFM) surface roughness measurements and other process parameters
  • A brightfield differential interference contrast (DIC) optical mode enables detection and classification of critical defects such as Large Light Point Defects (LLPD)
  • A backside inspection module (BSIM) provides detection of critical wafer backside defects that can cause yield-impacting defocus issues in the lithography cell (300mm only)
  • Enhanced coordinate accuracy and optimized coordinate exchange with KLA-Tencor’s e-beam review tools improves defect redetection for better classification and sourcing
  • Correlation of Surfscan SP3 to Surfscan SP2 and SP2XP baselines enhances fleet flexibility
  • Reliable, extendible architecture protects a fab’s capital investment
  • Flexible configurations allow inspection of 300mm and 450mm wafers on the same system, at nearly the same footprint as the 300mm-only tool
Integrated SURFmonitor is a defect/metrology module that utilizes background scattering (haze) data from Surfscan SP3 scans to monitor process signatures and low contrast defects, without affecting inspection throughput. SURFmonitor can correlate haze to process parameters such as surface roughness and grain size, serving as a high speed, full-wafer metrology proxy for bare wafers and blanket films.



IC Manufacturing

Process Tool Monitoring: Within the IC fab, the Surfscan SP3 is used for qualification and monitoring of process tools for the 2Xnm design node. The DUV sensitivity and enhanced throughput produce high sensitivity to blanket film defects at production speeds, enabling engineers to monitor process tools for defects that may be introduced during film deposition or CMP. In addition, the integrated SURFmonitor allows monitoring of grain size and roughness of copper, tungsten and aluminum films and enables detection of faint or shallow scratches at CMP.

Lithography: With its unique DUV sensitivity, the Surfscan SP3 detects defocus, resist streak and other critical issues when serving as a lithography process tool monitor. In addition, the backside inspection module of the Surfscan SP3 is used within the lithography cell to detect critical backside defects that can cause defocus issues on the front side of the wafer during patterning. The Surfscan SP3’s integrated SURFmonitor module also helps engineers qualify immersion scanners by detecting immersion-unique defects such as water marks.

Incoming Wafer Qualification: The DUV-sensitivity of the Surfscan SP3 helps IC manufacturers ensure that incoming wafers meet their strict quality specifications.

Substrate Manufacturing

Inline Process Control: Defects that can form during wafer processing (i.e. polish marks, crystalline pits, terracing, voids) can affect the performance of IC devices. Identifying these defects early in the manufacturing process enables improved substrate quality and higher yield. The Surfscan SP3 has the sensitivity and throughput to reliability detect critical defects and surface quality issues inline, helping wafer manufacturers produce the top-grade substrates required for 2Xnm IC devices.

Final Wafer Qualification: The Surfscan SP3 can be used by wafer manufacturers for final qualification of traditional and engineered substrates. While the high throughput of the Surfscan SP3 provides increased productivity for final wafer check, the inspector’s high sensitivity ensures that the wafers meet IC manufacturers’ strict quality specifications. 

Equipment manufacturing

Process tool qualification:  Defects added by the tool during processing, such as fall-on particles or metal contamination, may adversely impact the wafer yield or device performance. Certain process steps like polishing can worsen the wafer surface quality and create anomalous process defect signatures that may render the wafer unsuitable for further processing. Early detection and classification of these subtle conditions is critical to ensure optimal yield. The Surfscan SP3’s DUV defect maps and high-resolution DUV SURFimages provide key information, enabling equipment vendors to build process tools that can reliably handle 450mm wafers.

Process uniformity monitor: The full-wafer high-resolution SURFimage represents the variations of the wafer surface quality in response to changes in process chemistries or recipes, enabling process optimization and production monitoring. Dark field haze calibration ensures that the haze readings are accurate and repeatable across tools. 

Additional Products


Surfscan SP2XP: High throughput unpatterned wafer inspection system with UV illumination and Ultra-High Sensitivity mode for IC and substrate manufacturing at the 3Xnm design node.

Surfscan SP2: Unpatterned wafer inspection system with UV darkfield technology providing 30nm sensitivity to support substrate qualification and process tool monitoring for the 90nm, 65nm and 45nm design nodes.  

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


Related Information
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