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A Proposal for Measuring 20-nm Particles in High-Purity Water Using a New Technology

Authors

David Blackford,
Fluid Measurement Technologies, Inc.

Don Grant,
CT Associates, Inc.

Abstract

The objective of the International Technology Roadmap for Semiconductors (ITRS) is “to ensure cost-effective advancements in the performance of the integrated circuit and the products that employ such devices, thereby continuing the health and success of the semiconductor industry”. However, the latest version of the Roadmap concludes that the current optical particle counting technology (counting particles >50 nanometers [nm]) is unable to detect particles at the critical size, defined as half the line width used to manufacture DRAM memory devices. The inability to count particle

One of the purposes of the ITRS Roadmap is to encourage instrumentation vendors to develop better metrology as line widths continue to shrink. With this goal in mind the authors have developed a modified version of the nonvolatile residue monitor (NRM) that is capable of distinguishing real particles from residue agglomerate particles. This article describes the fundamentals for the technique and presents results from a “proof of concept” prototype. The prototype was used to measure 20-nm particles as an ultrafiltration system was brought on line at semiconductor high-purity water system.

Ultrapure Water, January 2009.

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