Park NX-Wafer designed for wafer-fab manufacturing

Park Systems, a leading manufacturer of atomic force microscopy (AFM) products announces Park NX-Wafer, a revolutionary AFM design for bare wafer manufacturing that fully automates the automatic defect review process and increases production throughput by an astounding 1,000%. Park NX-Wafer produces sub-Angstrom roughness measurements for the flattest substrates and wafers with tip-to-tip variation of less than 2%, for the first time ever in the entire history of the semiconductor industry. This fully automated defect review and identification system enables a critical inline process to classify defect types and source their origin through high resolution 3D imaging only available at Park Systems, the world’s leading AFM provider.

“Park NX-Wafer is an updated continuation from the wafer metrology product line, the Wafer Series, with new application capabilities focusing on automatic defect review (ADR), atomic force profiler, and sub-Angstrom surface roughness control.  Among the three, SmartADR for 200/300mm bare wafers is a disruptive technology that improves productivity by up to 1,000% compared to traditional defect review methods by AFM,” explains Sang-il Park, CEO  and Chairman Park Systems.“Designed specifically for the semiconductor industry, the new bare wafer ADR is the most advanced, fully automated defect review solution available, featuring advanced coordinate translation with enhanced vision that does not require any separate steps to calibrate the stage of the targeted defect inspection system nor labor intensive reference marking on the target wafer sample.  Unlike SEM which leaves square-shaped destructive irradiation marks on defect sites after its run, the AFM-based defect review enables non-destructive 3D imaging of defects as small as a few nanometers."

NX-Wafer has several new features that help revolutionize the Wafer Fab Manufacturing process offering the improvements needed for full scale production of bare wafers. One is
a long range sliding stage that combines with NX-Wafer to become an Atomic Force Profiler (AFP).  The new low noise AFP provides very flat profiling up to 50mm with profiling speed as fast as 1mm/sec for both local and global uniformity measurements including dishing, erosion, and edge-over-erosion (EOE)after chemical mechanical polishing (CMP).  It guarantees accurate height measurements with no non-linear or high noise background subtraction over a wide range of profiling lengths.

Another new featureis the fully automated defect review process from transfer and alignment of defect maps to the survey and zoom-in scan imaging of defects on 200/300mm bare wafers. By utilizing Park’s proprietary coordinate translation technique using enhanced vision, the new bare wafer ADR can accurately transfer the defect maps obtained from a laser-scattering defect inspection tool to the Park NX-Wafer system.  This technology does not require any separate step to calibrate the stage of the targeted defect inspection system and allows full automation for high throughput defect imaging.

“Park develops not only the most advanced atomic force microscopy system for wafer fab but also its own system software for automation.  The extent of automation offered in our inline measurement and analysis are unprecedented and unparalleled.  This makes Park NX-Wafer an automated AFM with true wafer-fab manufacturability.  It is a genuine inline AFM system that works 24/7 for production or process engineers, not the other way around,” states Ryan (YK) Yoo, Vice President of Global Sales and Marketing Park Systems. “The Atomic Force Profiler (AFP) is an essential component of CMP metrology and Park NX-Wafer comes with a dedicated user interface for the automated CMP profiling and analysis, rendering complex background subtraction or calibration after each profiling measurement unnecessary.Both chip makers and wafer suppliers are demanding more accurate roughness control of ultra-flat surface on Si or SOI wafers, and Park NX-Wafer enables fully automated surface roughness measurement with sub-Angstrom repeatability and minimum tip-to-tip variation for either micro-roughness or long-range waviness."
Park NX-Wafer includes Park’s patented design features well-known throughout the industry to provide accuracy and durability including True Non-ContactTM mode and industry leading ultra-low noise Z detector.

About Park Systems

Park Systems is a world-leading manufacturer of atomic force microscopy (AFM) systems with a complete range of products for researchers and industry engineers in chemistry, materials, physics, life sciences, and semiconductor and data storage industries. Park’s products are used by over a thousand institutions and corporations worldwide. Park’s AFM provides highest data accuracy at nanoscale resolution, superior productivity, and lowest operating cost thanks to its unique technology and innovative engineering. Park Systems, Inc. is headquartered in Santa Clara, California with its global manufacturing, and R&D headquarters in Korea. Park’s products are sold and supported worldwide with regional headquarters in the US, Korea, Japan, and Singapore, and distribution partners throughout Europe, Asia, and America. Please visit or call 408-986-1110 for more information.

This story is reprinted from material from Park Systems, with editorial changes made by Materials Today. The views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent those of Elsevier.