SBIR Phase I: ACIM Wafer Saver: A novel CMP slurry monitor
Small Business Information
6923 Redbud Drive, Manhattan, KS, 66503
AbstractThis Small Business Innovation Research Phase I project is targeted to save semiconductor wafers from being deeply scratched by unchecked large errant agglomerates in chemical mechanical planarizing or polishing (CMP) slurries. CMP has become the method of choice for restoring the surface trueness of wafers at all stages of integrated circuit manufacture. No method currently exists that can implement a CMP-safe slurry at the point of use. The proposed novel technology of Acoustic Coaxing Induced Microcavitation (ACIM) is a means to constructively control acoustic microcavitation and direct its high intensity energy implosions at specific particle sites. ACIM will achieve both the detection and destruction of the stray large particles and render the entire slurry CMP-safe at the point of use. A high-end wafer scratched at the final stages of manufacturer results in a large direct loss. Using ACIM to save post-CMP wafers is therefore a direct savings. The ACIM Wafer Saver, the slurry monitor-comminuter, would be the first fully in-line, real-time, point of use device for detecting stray large particles and agglomerates, and for reducing them to a nano-fine state. The rapidly growing CMP industry presents a well-developed market for this environmentally friendly ACIM tool.
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