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Investigation of Si wafer Damage in Manufacturing Processes

SIDAM is a European Commission project within the SEVENTH FRAMEWORK PROGRAMME ICT-1-3.1 : Next generation nanoelectronics components and electronics integration.

Wafer handling during semiconductor manufacturing introduces microcracks at the wafer edge. During thermal processing, some of these grow into slip bands; on rapid thermal processing some of these grow into cracks, shattering the wafer and disrupting manufacture. Breakage losses account for of the order of €2.5M p.a. for a single fab line at the 90 nm node. 

Microcracks and slip bands can be made visible by X-ray Diffraction Imaging (XRDI); but it is unknown which of the many defects imaged are those that will result in yield loss and breakage. Dense slip bands also lead to yield loss by locally increasing diffusion rates.

The aim of the project is to discover how to derive quantitative, predictive information from X-ray Diffraction Imaging (XRDI), enabling a breakthrough metrology of wafer inspection, based on quantification of the XRDI images, modelling of the stresses introduced by the controlled defects, modelling the influence of thermal gradients in RTA upon the defects, and experimental confirmation of the conclusions.