The semiconductor industry manufactures the integrated circuit (IC) devices which bring technologies such as mobile phones, laptops, cloud computing, artificial intelligence, and autonomous driving to our everyday lives. At Photon Control, we are focused on serving core applications within this industry, where our fiber optic sensors can be found in wafer fab equipment (WFE) at major fabs around the worlds. The development and manufacturing process of leading-edge devices is complex and can only be achieved with a high level of process control. As memory and logic ICs scale to smaller dimensions and device structures become more 3D, tighter control over processes such as lithography, etch, deposition, and thermal processing is critical for reaching the required fab yield and productivity.
Our fiber optic sensors monitor some of the most critical process parameters that an be found in various wafer fab equipment – temperature and position. In many semiconductor processes, these two parameters can have a large impact on device performance and yield, and must be monitored and controlled during processing. Thousands of our fiber optic temperature sensors and wafer position sensors can be found monitoring wafer fab equipment at sites all over the world.
TEMPERATURE MEASUREMENT IN PLASMA ETCH AND DEPOSITION EQUIPMENT
Photon Control’s high-accuracy phosphor fiber optic temperature sensors are designed specifically to maintain high accuracy, precision, and long-term stability in harsh environments. They are immune to interference from strong electromagnetic fields, which makes them ideal for high-accuracy temperature monitoring in plasma etch and plasma-assisted deposition processes. These temperature sensors can be used to measure the temperature of numerous components in the process chamber that effect process uniformity, such as electrostatic chucks and edge rings. For example, fiber optic temperature sensors can be used to measure multiple heating zones of an electrostatic chuck in a plasma etch chamber, enabling the temperature control and uniformity required for leading-edge semiconductor manufacturing.
During many wafer fabrication processes, accurate placement of the wafer in the process chamber is critical to achieving process uniformity, especially for chips near the edge of the wafer. Photon Control provides custom fiber optic position sensors which accurately monitor the wafer position, ensuring the accurate and repeatable placement of the wafer in the process chamber. Our position sensors are integrated seamlessly into our customers’ wafer fab equipment to minimize downtime and safeguard against edge yield loss and wafer misprocessing.
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