All-Surface Wafer 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 the latest-generation CIRCL5 system include: front side wafer defect inspection; wafer edge defect inspection, profile, metrology and review; back side wafer defect inspection and review; and, optical review and classification of front side 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 CIRCL5 tool is utilized for multiple applications within the fab, including lithography process monitoring and 3D metrology for outgoing quality control. The modular configuration of CIRCL5 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.


8920i: Front side wafer Broad Range Inspection (BRI) module

The 8920i detects a wide variety of defect types at very high throughput for fast identification and resolution of production process issues. The 8920i enables cost-effective defect inspection from initial product development through volume production, helping fabs reduce the risk of excursions by providing higher lot and wafer sampling. The 8920i wafer defect inspection module features several advances designed to enable semiconductor manufacturers to accelerate delivery of their products, reliably and at lower cost:
  • LED scanning technology with a selectable spectrum
  • Simultaneous brightfield and darkfield optical paths to capture a wide range of defect types in a single pass
  • Superior autofocus and advanced algorithms produce high capture of a wide range of defect types at >5% nuisance rate
  • Die-to-die, golden die and full wafer imaging for best defect detection
  • Automated wafer defect binning and defect review provide fast identification of critical defects for reduced time to results
  • Automated wafer and lot disposition for line and tool monitoring
  • Macro overlay error monitoring and Reticle ID check
  • Production-proven platform with high reliability, tool-to-tool matching and auto recipe setup
CV350i: Wafer edge defect 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 wafer edge defect types with industry-leading sensitivity
  • Profile-corrected inspection ensures best signal quality and significant increase in signal-to-noise ratio for improved defect detection
  • 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 film 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 landing height (“z-cut”) with respect to wafer thickness on 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 wafer 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
Micro300: Optical defect review and metrology 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
  • X, Y and height metrology supports multiple SpotCheck™ applications:
    • Reticle ID check verifies that the correct reticle was used for printing
    • Overlay error monitoring checks layer-to-layer pattern registration
    • 3D shape metrology enables outgoing quality control

Process Monitor: With high throughput and a modular design, CIRCL5 provides comprehensive data for monitoring of CMP, lithography, etch, films and other processes. 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 CIRCL5 facilitates flexible WIP routing and the best baseline stability.

Lithography: CIRCL5 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 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, CIRCL5 enables lithography engineers to quickly identify critical issues and take fast corrective action to prevent yield loss.

Outgoing Quality Control (OQC): CIRCL5 provides 3D macro wafer shape metrology, enabling outgoing quality control for advanced packaging. In addition to front side wafer defect inspection, wafer edge inspection and edge metrology, CIRCL5 measures X, Y and height (Z) for complete characterization of PAD layers.

For information on the CIRCL-AP for advanced wafer level packaging, please see CIRCL-AP.

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

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