Defect analysis for PV manufacturing efficiency
The Discover Solar software package is a reengineered version of the company’s inline defect analysis and data management system to target high–volume photovoltaic production, offering automated process control and the ability to perform root cause analysis closer to real time. Using in–line metrology, equipment, and cell test data, the software???s path analysis equations allow for faster and more automated correlation between a problem and a specific line, line tool, or batch of wafers. Out–of–spec results after a particular process can be highlighted to pinpoint a problem on the tools, chambers, tubes, zones, or print tables, and a bad batch of wafers can be called out by identifying variations between wafers run over the same recipe in the same tools. Users can be alerted to correlations between scrap or inefficient cells and multiple errors at different steps. Citing cost analysis data from a PV fab customer, the company claims the system can cut roughly $495k in scrap, $90k in inefficiencies, and $87k in engineering costs for a 7.5M wafers/year, 30MWp line. Rudolph Technologies, Flanders, NJ; ph 973/691–1300, www.rudolphtech.com.
Pattern quantification for backend mask manufacturing
The MaskShop, the first in a new series of design–for–manufacturing (DFM) software tools, is custom image processing software for high–end wafer fabs and mask shops, for quantifying pattern mismatches in pre– and post–repaired defect images found on reticles. It can overlay images obtained via microscope, inspection system, or simulation software, and analyze features found in double–patterning processes. Pixel intensity is stored in a 32bit variable with support for up to four channels; each pixel can take as much as 128 bits for storage, with either square or rectangular dimensions allowing for correction of lens and stage nonlinearities. Spectral content in an image taken with a high–resolution CCD or an AFM is not lost. Color and multi–focal–multi–planner images are supported. Reticle Labs, Union City, CA; ph 510/793–8096, www.reticlelabs.com.
Backup option for photomask processing
The HMXSquare photomask processing system offers what the company claims is the highest first–pass cleaning yield in its segment. The system incorporates redesigned software and new cleaning techniques for a low–risk backup option for advanced processing of small series or pilot production of special substrates, including Si and GaAs wafers and other special substrates up to 300mm, and chrome/chrome oxide up to 9–in. Processes include aqueous–based develop and etch, resist strip, pre– and final clean for removing organic/nonorganic components and sub–micron particles, rinse, and spin–dry. HamaTech APE, Sternenfels, Germany; ph 49/0–7045–41–8, www.hamatech–ape.com.
Mobile, less expensive crane for cleanrooms
Ruger’s newest line of stainless steel hydraulic floor cranes offer more versatility than jib cranes and mobility than gantry cranes, and are smaller and less expensive than tow motor–type lift trucks. Lifting capacities range from 2000–6000 lbs, with 1/4”–1/2” thick tubing, large lubricated casters and totally welded fabrication. Custom–engineered units can be designed for specialty applications. Ruger Industries, Solon, OH; ph 800/535–2725, www.rugerindustries.com.
LED standards calibration
The Forward Flux Lam Standards are an artifact for makers of LEDs, light fixtures, and displays to maintain and verify 2p[pi] measurements of solid state lighting with a standard calibrated directly to the NIST lumen. Available in 400 and 1000 lumen models, it can be used for calibrating integrating sphere spectrometers for forward spectral radiant flux with 350nm–1050nm responsivity. All lamp standards are first seasoned for 1% of their rated life and screened for stability and repeatable performance, before transferring the lumen directly from a NIST lumen reference. Halma Holdings, North Sutton, NH; ph 603/927–4266, www.labsphere.com.