When engineers talk about frog spots, recipes, and wafers, chances are that many people will not know that they are using application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) fabrication lingo. At AMI Semiconductor (AMIS) in Pocatello, ID, manufacturing conversations involving these words led engineers to solve two perplexing wafer production mysteries. They used design of experiments (DOEs) to investigate the problems and developed solutions that have saved the company $180,000 a year. A stable process at Fab Nine inexplicably began to produce sporadic wafer imperfections known as frog spots, a surface discoloration that often caused the fab’s 5-in. wafers to end up as underetched scrap. Curiously, although two matched metal etchers from Plasmatherm (currently Unaxis, Pfäffikon, Switzerland) fabricated identical wafers for automotive and medical device applications, only one of the etchers produced the defect. It was not known why the two etchers were performing differently. The metal-etch process at Fab Nine has three main sequences, with more than 10 controllable factors at each step. Following a series of brainstorming sessions that focused on product knowledge, wafer recipe comparisons, and a review of historical data, 19
Products & Services
Etchers and Etching Machines
Etchers and etching machines remove material from the surface of a part using an acid or alkaline chemical solution. Etchers and etching machines, also known as chemical milling machines, use masking substances to protect some surface areas of the part, providing selective material removal or patterning.
Semiconductor Cluster Tools
Semiconductor cluster tools and equipment are used to process semiconductor wafers for the production of microelectronic components.
Semiconductor Wet Process Equipment
Semiconductor wet process equipment performs a variety of wet processing applications including etching, washing, chemical mechanical polishing (CMP), and spin coating in semiconductor or microelectronics manufacturing.
Cleanrooms are contamination-free environments where high-tech manufacturing and assembly take place.
MEMS Processing Equipment
MEMS processing equipment is used to create micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS) sensors and wafers.
Topics of Interest
Chandra Saravanan, Zhuan Liu, Weidong Yang, Matthew F. Swisher, and Anlun Tang, Shrinking device dimensions place aggressive demands on defect detection metrology. As device density and critical...
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