Yield Enhancement Technology: Efforts To Suppress Nanosized Particles In Semiconductor Production Equipment

How studying particle behavior is leading to methods of suppressing defect-causing nanosized particles in the chipmaking process.


The currently dominant semiconductor process size is in the range between a few and a few dozen nanometers. That means if a nanosized particle smaller than a virus (hereinafter simply “particle”) is present on a silicon substrate, it could cause a defect in the semiconductor device, lowering the production yield (i.e., the percentage of good chips produced in a manufacturing process). Preventing the occurrence of defect-causing particles is not so easy, however, as it is comparable to cleaning up a baseball field until no grain of sand larger than a few dozen microns in diameter remains on the ground. Despite the difficulty, developers of semiconductor production equipment have continually struggled to suppress particles.

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