Finding the Killer Defects at 10nm and Beyond

Chipmakers' vital need for higher inspection sensitivity continues to grow as they move to 10nm and beyond, and introduce complex structures and new materials into high volume manufacturing. Today’s fabs require advanced process control technologies that deliver statistically significant killer defect detection to shorten ramp times and improve production yields.

One major challenge as design rules shrink is the optical signals received from defects are becoming smaller and the separation between killer and nuisance defects is harder to achieve as process complexity grows. Distinguishing between defects of interest and nuisances relies heavily on advanced imaging techniques.

To address this scaling challenge, Applied’s UVision 7 optical inspection tool uses Marker™ technology which integrates simultaneous dual brightfield and greyfield channel optical information with CAD and FAB inputs for optimizing the separation of killer defects from nuisance defects in complex 3D designs. Shirley Hemar from Applied’s Process Diagnostics and Control Group reviews the tool's technical innovations and capabilities.

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