Inline SlurryScope


Used during the chemical-mechanical-planarization (CMP) of semiconductor wafers, this automated metrology tool orchestrates patented laser particle-sensing techniques, powerful algorithms and multicore image processing to analyze production strength slurry with real-time measurements.


The SlurryScope System instantly detects and profiles oversized particles in the 1.0-10.0 micron ranges that can cause damaging micro-scratches to wafers. The SlurryScope System can be used for on-site beta testing of multiple slurry types, correlating to previous dilution tests of slurry samples (Silica and Alumina). For low particle count Cu and W slurries, a high-resolution sensor is available for the particle size range 0.8-4.0 microns.


Undiluted ceria and colloidal-silica slurries have been measured by multiple customers on slurry delivery lines with  more than 200 hours of continuous monitoring.  All slurries were measured in real-time with time-stamped results sent to a customer database.






The SlurryScope System detects large particles in the slurry that can micro-scratch wafers, thereby impairing quality and yield during the CMP processing.  Also characterizing overall particle distribution being delivered to each wafer, this versatile tool offers the following benefits




  •    Identify and measure Large Particle Count (LPC) real-time in CMP slurry to prevent wafer defects and scratching
  • ·   Compare distribution of particles by size, slurry type and condition to improve process results
  • ·   Correlate wafer results by continuous undiluted slurry examination during CMP processing
  • ·   Reduce CMP costs by extending  both slurry and filter life cycles
  • ·   Increase slurry utilization and reduce costs by continuously monitoring slurry during CMP processing
  • ·   Eliminates need for dilution (a technique currently used to "see through" the slurry) and its associated errors and waste


Slurry blend preparation, including raw materials: 

o    Raw Slurry – Identify suspension issues (inhomogeneous mixing,solids distribution, settling in tote/drum)

o    Batch Blending – Batch-to-batch LPC performance

o    Local Circulation Loop – Verify LPC count during batch qualification

o    Side Switching - Batch-to-batch LPC verification and trending

o    Global Loop Supply – Verify LPC prior to VMB


Configuration for slurry blend analysis... (available upon request)
Graph of Ceria delivery over time... 
(available upon request)


Filtration LPC issues, operation and maintenance

o    Filter – Detect element end of life and/or breakthrough

o    Maintenance – Detect LPC excursions from filter shockConfiguration for monitoring filter operation/maintenance...
Monitoring effects of filtration... (available upon request)

CMP Point of Use (POU)  slurry LPC to wafer CMP performance correlation

o    Global Loop Return – Detect loop-generated LPC

o    Point of Use  – Correlate wafer-to-wafer CMP results with slurry LPC

Configuration to correlate LPC to wafer CMP results... (available upon request)