By Nick Gilbert
Applied Materials, a provider of innovative equipment, services and software to enable the production of advanced semiconductor, flat panel display and solar photovoltaic products, has introduced Applied UVision 5 wafer inspection system to monitor the defects in sub-20 nm critical patterning layers of logic devices.
The system features a deep ultra-violet (DUV) laser and also includes greyfield and brightfield light collection capabilities. These features deliver light intensity to the wafer, which is nearly twice than that of the earlier tools. Thus, the system is able to detect up to twice the number of harmful defects and its unmatched sensitivity enables semiconductor manufacturers to gain more robust control during fabrication of their smallest circuit characteristics.
The powerful optical system in the Applied Materials’ UVision 5 offers up to double the light density and it collects up to 30% higher scattered light than its competitive tools. This element integrated with innovative, proprietary image processing algorithms increases the detection capabilities of the wafer inspection system for important monitoring applications, including EUVL layers, double and quad patterning and ArF immersion lithography.
The UVision5 tool provides time-saving benefits for foundry customers by speeding up the complex task of rapidly increasing the production of numerous novel chip designs every year. Additionally, the tool can use design information to create layout data that can enhance defect capturing rate and save nearly 15 hours of operator time for every inspection process.