27 December 1996 Reticle cleanliness and handling issues in submicron wafer fabrication
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Abstract
Reticle cleanliness is becoming an ever more serious issue in today's sub-micron wafer fabrication facilities. Line-widths on reticle are at or pushing below one micron. The defined size of what is a "killer' defect has shrunk accordingly. The small particulates added in shipping, reticle storage, and reticle handling are having a much greater impact on device yield. Current methods of reticle protection and storage are proving inadequate in preventing an accumulation of particles that would previously have been considered inconsequential. Device yield as a function of reticle cleanliness has become a major concern. Cost and turn time also factor into the need for improved reticle protection and handling methods. The cost for a super high-end reticle has sky-rocketed into the 5 figure range for a "traditional" binary, chrome-onquartz photomask. Holding up a wafer lot for what can be a two week replacement turn-time on critical spec reticles can result in catastrophic delays to production. Protection of these manufacturing critical resources is an absolute necessity. As a result of these issues, increased focus is being applied to developing truly secure methods for the protection, shipment, and handling of reticles. Specific problems include: . Inadequate protection provided by current stepper storage boxes . Shortcomings of shipping containers and sealing mechanisms . Over-reliance on direct manipulation in reticle handling practices
© (1996) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Michael E. Kling, Michael E. Kling, } "Reticle cleanliness and handling issues in submicron wafer fabrication", Proc. SPIE 2884, 16th Annual BACUS Symposium on Photomask Technology and Management, (27 December 1996); doi: 10.1117/12.262842; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.262842
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