A Proposal for Measuring 20-nm Particles in High-Purity Water Using a New Technology

By David Blackford, Ph.D., and Don Grant


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The objective of the International Technology Roadmap for Semiconductors (ITRS) is モto ensure cost-effective advancements in the performance of the integrated circuit and the products that employ such devices, thereby continuing the health and success of the semiconductor industryヤ. However, the latest revision of the Roadmap concludes that current optical particle counting technology (counting particles >50 nanometer [nm]) is unable to detect particles at the critical size, defined as half the line width used to manufacture DRAM memory devices. The inability to count particles <50 nm poses a risk for semiconductor manufacturers where shrinking critical dimensions may lead to increased defect densities and increased yield loss. One of the purposes of the ITRS Roadmap is to encourage instrumentation vendors to develop better metrology as line widths continue to shrink. With this goal in mind the authors have developed a modified version of the nonvolatile residue monitor (NRM) that is capable of distinguishing real particles from residue agglomerate particles. This article describes the fundamentals for the technique and presents results from a モproof of conceptヤ prototype. The prototype was used to measure 20-nm particles as an ultrafiltration system was brought on-line at a semiconductor high-purity water system.

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