An ASML customer has installed the first HMI eScan 1100 multibeam e-beam wafer inspection system. Armed with 25 beams in a 5 by 5 configuration, the eScan 1100 is able to increase throughput up 15 times compared to single-beam systems, enabling defect monitoring in high-volume manufacturing environments, ASML subsidiary HMI claims.
ASML acquired metrology specialist HMI in 2016 to capitalize on a two-way synergy between the two companies. On the one hand e-beam inspection expands the capabilities of ASML’s holistic lithography suite because, because it’s easier to produce low-wavelength electrons than photons. And on the other hand, information from the suite speeds up inspection by directing e-beams to suspected hot-spots, decreasing the wafer area that needs to be scanned.
The collaboration had a bit of a slow start, however, after the partners had to start over because of an IP issue. Delayed by a year-and-a-half, the first tool, the 3×3 beam eScan 1000, was shipped in May 2020. This “technology demonstrator yielded strong application learnings and design improvements,” says Gary Zhang, Head of Product Marketing at HMI.
“The eScan 1100 incorporates those learnings with an improved electron optical system at a higher resolution and a high-speed stage to increase the system’s overall throughput. In addition, a high-speed computational architecture processes the streams of data from the multiple beamlets in real time,” Zhang added.