Process-Control Instrument for Multi-Chamber Platforms
Award last edited on: 3/18/2003

Sponsored Program
Awarding Agency
Total Award Amount
Award Phase
Solicitation Topic Code

Principal Investigator
Matthew J Banet

Company Information

Active Impulse Systems Inc

12 Michigan Drive
Natick, MA 01760
   (508) 655-1615
Location: Single
Congr. District: 05
County: Middlesex

Phase I

Contract Number: ----------
Start Date: ----    Completed: ----
Phase I year
Phase I Amount
This Small Business Phase I project will provide an improved process-control instrument for increasing yields and identifying defective product in microelectronic device fabrication. The proposed instrument will monitor fabrication processes performed in multi-chamber environments that are rapidly becoming the standard in microelectronics fabrication. Multi-chamber platforms include a central wafer-handling housing connected at it facets to different fabrication tools (e.g., CVD and etching chambers); the housing and the connected tools are kept under vacuum. A single platform performs multiple process steps. Unfortunately, the same features that make the platforms advantageous also make it difficult to perform process control, For example, most conventional metrology tools cannot measure wafers within the platform. To meet the fabrication industry's demand for real-time process control instrument s, it is proposed to develop and test an all-optical, smallscale process-control instrument. This instrument will remotely determine: I) the thickness of opaque (e.g., metal) and transparent (e,g., oxide) films; II) adhesion vs. delamination of opaque and transparent films; iii) viscoelastic properties of films and substrates; iv) thermal diffusivity of films and substrates; and v) ion implant levels of silicon wafers and epitaxially grown films. The proposed instrument has applications in the microelectronics industry, particularly in the area of metrology and process control.

Phase II

Contract Number: ----------
Start Date: ----    Completed: ----
Phase II year
Phase II Amount
Active Impulse Systems, Inc. will develop two next-generation metrology tools that monitor semiconductor manufacturing processing tools in situ. These in situ monitors are based upon an Impulse Stimulated Thermal Scattering technique developed in the MIT Department of Chemistry and Electronic Packaging under NSF support. These monitors will allow in situ characterization of metal film thickness, and the concentration, depth and energy of ions implanted in semiconductor materials. Active Impulse Systems will work with SEMs, as well as SEMATECH and I300I in the development of these tools, which are expected to result in a more efficient semiconductor manufacturing capability.