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Novel process control strategies for 300 mm semiconductor production
Semiconductor industry is one of the fastest growing businesses. Integrated circuit production process is becoming more and more challenging as the increase in complexity and in wafer size continues. Semiconductor manufacturing comprises hundreds of mostly complex processing steps, almost each of them has to be controlled within a narrow process window. Measurement steps are more or less frequently used in the production processing. Quite often it is required to take those wafers that have to be tested or measured out of the production lots, which affects logistics and, even worse, adds costs for such monitor wafers. It is of utmost importance to check new strategies in monitoring for the enhancement of yield at any possible level. Three practical examples for integrated metrology, X-ray-induced photoelectron spectroscopy and ellipsometry integrated into a cluster tool and ellipsometry integrated into a vertical furnace have been demonstrated and will be described.Considerations of cost savings by integrated metrology are made concerning increase in equipment availability, yield improvement and reduction in cleanroom space.