Introduced in January 2011 after a year of beta testing and research, the WaferSense Airborne Particle Sensor (APS) is the only semiconductor sensor of its kind to identify particle sources in tool. Shaped like a wafer, the APS moves through semiconductor process equipment and automation material handing systems to monitor airborne particles, reporting real-time information that allows engineers to efficiently validate wafer contamination and identify potential yield issues.
How it Works
The Airborne Particle Sensor uses a fan to pull non-corrosive gas or air through a channel as a laser illuminates the air/gas stream while particles scatter light onto the sensors photodiode. Compatible with front-ends, coater/developer tracks, deposition and etch equipment, the APS has the ability to detect particles as small as 0.1 um. The automation-friendly semiconductor sensor doesn't require engineers to open chambers or expose ultra-clean process areas to the environment. The sensor can detect particles in real-time without opening the tool.
Using the Airborne Particle Sensor’s companion software ParticleView™, fab engineers can collect and display particle data wirelessly to see the effect of adjustments in real time, speeding equipment qualification and setup. Particle data can be recorded to compare past to present operations as well as one tool to another to conduct machine-to-machine trend analysis of particle conditions and to establish process control and conduct process improvement.