An important problem in today’s advanced semiconductor manufacturing occurs in the planarization of semiconductor wafers. Polishing slurries composed of particles on the 500 nm scale, or smaller, are used as an abrasive to polish the wafer to the extremely high specifications for planarization required for the manufacturing of semiconductors.
Uniformity of the slurry particles is critical to achieve these tight tolerances.
The size of problematic larger particles falls in the ideal range for Total Holographic Characterization®, 500 nm – 10 microns. A challenge for optical techniques is the turbidity of the slurries, creating too much opacity to detect a signal. The unique signature of particles for Total Holographic Characterization® is a hologram, which is detected even in the presence of the sea of smaller particles in the background.
The occasional large particle, or the agglomeration of small particles creating larger particles, can wreak havoc in manufacturing. Single larger particles can create scratches in the surface of a wafer rendering it scrap material. Estimates place the value of scrap in the semiconductor industry as a result of damaged wafers at $1 billion annually.
Contact us for more information on how Spheryx can help with your slurries.