Toolset detects, measures molecular contamination


FRANKLIN, Mass.-Extraction ( has unveiled technology designed to both detect and measure molecular contamination for 193-nm lithography processes.

The company’s TMB-193 tool is designed to detect and measure most base contaminants, including ammonia and amines, without having to be tuned to individual compounds. The tool uses a patent-pending flow and pressure stability technology that continuously measures molecular contamination by using chemiluminescence-a chemical reaction that produces light without heat, and what Extraction says makes for a more reliable and accurate detection method.

Extraction's TMB-193 measures molecular contamination in 193-nm lithography processes via chemiluminescence-a chemical reaction that produces light without heat and is said to result in more accurate detection.
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“With low K1 193-nm photoresist processes, we’ve got the perfect storm-thinner, more sensitive resists, longer double exposures, sub-10-nm CD budgets, and new amines in the manufacturing process,” says Extraction President and CEO Devon Kinkead. “Customers cannot afford contamination blind spots.”

The companion LithoScout is an air/gas sampling system that simultaneously collects and reports required measurements for ultra low levels of molecular contamination.
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As a companion tool to the TMB-193, the LithoScout sampling and reporting system is designed to offer a fast and precise means of collecting and reporting required measurements for ultra low levels of molecular acid, base, and organic contamination in order to maintain 193-nm lens warranties (in compliance with manufacturer requirements). The company claims LithoScout is the only packaged air and gas sampling system designed specifically for simultaneously detecting these lithographic contaminants.

“Implemented together,” Kinkead says, “the tools offer a complete view, allowing customers to understand and control contamination in 193-nm lithography tools and production areas.”

Extraction says the TMB-193 and LithoScout toolset, introduced at SEMICON Japan in December, are in response to a consensus of international lithography experts who gathered at the company’s annual Technology Roadmap Workshop earlier this year. At the workshop, designed to outline current and future lithography contamination measurement and control challenges, experts reported that continuous monitoring of the 193-nm resist process environment was needed to ensure size uniformity in critical device features, while simple, cost-effective and accurate ultra trace-level gas analysis was needed to meet lithography tool lens warranty requirements.

In early December, Extraction announced that an unnamed Japanese semiconductor manufacturer had ordered “multiple” TMB-193 tools to continuously monitor contamination in its tool and production areas.