A 300mm wafer atomic force prober (AFP) has been installed into IBM’s manufacturing line to enable rapid, nondestructive electrical identification of defects. Prior to this tool many of these defects could not detected until weeks or months later. Moving failure analysis to the FAB provides a means of complementing existing FAB inspection and defect review tools as well as providing independent, non-destructive electrical measurements at an early point in the manufacturing cycle [1] Once the wafer sites are non destructively AFP characterized, the wafer is returned to its front opening unified pod (FOUP) carrier and may be reintroduced into the manufacturing line without disruption for further inspection or processing. Whole wafer atomic force probe electrical characterization has been applied to 32nm, 28nm, 20nm and 14nm node technologies. In this paper we explore the cost benefits of performing non-destructive AFP measurements on whole wafers. We have found the methodology of employing a whole wafer AFP tool complements existing in-line manufacturing monitoring tools such as brightfield/dark field optical inspection, SEM in-line inspection and in-line E-beam voltage contrast inspection (EBI).

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