System and Methods for Detecting, Capturing, and Measuring Nanoparticles

­Speeds the semiconductor manufacturing process by detecting particles smaller than 20nm before they have adhered to the silicon wafer.  Background:The conventional method for of detecting particles during the semiconductor manufacturing proc…

­Speeds the semiconductor manufacturing process by detecting particles smaller than 20nm before they have adhered to the silicon wafer. 

Background:

The conventional method of detecting particles during the semiconductor manufacturing process occurs only after the particles have adhered to the silicon wafer. While that approach is easier because the particles are stationary on the wafer, detecting particles smaller than 20 nanometers (nm) remains a challenge. There is a need for counting nanoparticles in vacuum chambers, especially process chambers for semiconductor manufacturing. With the industry working on the 5nm node, particles on the ~10nm scale and larger that adhere to the silicon wafer can become defects and have a negative effect on the process yield.

Technology Overview:

The invention describes a system that includes two vacuum chambers. The first vacuum chamber contains a cavity wherein a plurality of nanoparticles is formed. The second vacuum chamber contains a cavity wherein a plurality of nanoparticles is collected. A particle collection medium in a liquid phase is disposed on the particle collection component. The medium encapsulates the nanoparticles so that they can be captured, counted, and measured. This invention reduces the wafer manufacturing time while measuring the moving nanoparticles smaller than 20-nm and collecting nanoparticles.

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Advantages:  

•    Measures and counts moving nanoparticles smaller than 20nm 
•    Reduces the number of inspections required 
•    Speeds the wafer manufacturing process
  

Applications:  

•    Semiconductor, manufacturing 
•    Measuring and counting moving nanoparticles in the 50 to 100 nm range
•    Scanning mobility particles
•    Measuring particle size 
•    Measuring wafer contamination
  

Intellectual Property Summary:
 
•    Patent application submitted
•    Provisional patent
•    US Provisional Filed 17/335,862

Stage of Development:

TRL 3

Licensing Status:

Seeking development partner, licensing.