SBIR Phase II: Novel Sensor for Control of Cleaning Processes During the Fabrication of Microstructures

Award Information
Agency:
National Science Foundation
Branch
n/a
Amount:
$470,050.00
Award Year:
2006
Program:
SBIR
Phase:
Phase II
Contract:
0548743
Award Id:
67979
Agency Tracking Number:
0420158
Solicitation Year:
n/a
Solicitation Topic Code:
n/a
Solicitation Number:
n/a
Small Business Information
6595 North Oracle Road, Suite 153B, Tucson, AZ, 85704-
Hubzone Owned:
N
Minority Owned:
N
Woman Owned:
N
Duns:
333333333
Principal Investigator:
BertVermeire
Mr
(520) 742-3300
bert@eng-metrology.com
Business Contact:
FarhangShadman
Mr
(520) 742-3300
shadman@env-metrology.com
Research Institute:
n/a
Abstract
This Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase II project provides a unique and robust in-situ sensor for detection and control of impurities in microstructures and porous layers associated with manufacturing of semiconductor, MEMS, and emerging nanodevices. Use of impedance as a measure of contamination in bulk fluids is well established. However, applying it in micro-scale features is novel and has many promising applications. The proposed Electro-Chemical Residue Sensor (ECSR) technology is not aimed at developing yet another sensor to measure contaminants in fluids. It is rather aimed at the in-situ, real-time, and low-cost measurement of residual contamination inside and on the sidewalls of micro- and nano- features (the bottlenecks of cleaning, rinsing, and drying). The Phase II proposed plan is to design, fabricate, and test a prototype sensor assembly and develop its interface with process tools for cleaning, rinsing, and drying of micro-features. The first planned application, amounting to annual commercial market revenue of $9M to $30M, will be in rinsing and drying of patterned wafers and porous films in micro-electronics manufacturing. Currently, these operations are often run with no adequate real-time control. Insufficient cleaning and drying have significant negative impact on manufacturing yields and device performance. On the other hand, excessive cleaning and drying results in damage to the micro-structures, increase in cost, and wasting of chemicals, water, and energy. The application of the ECRS technology to wafer rinsing alone is expected to reduce water usage by 40-60%.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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