Metrology (Wafer/Mask Inspection)

As ICs are made for more and more complex applications, the more sophisticated metrology tools are needed with high-volume manufacturing in mind. Position control for product wafer measurements, compliance for semiconductor production clean room operation, highly reliable machine performance and low power consumption and cost of ownership are all important. ALIO is adept at addressing these challenges, and can develop customized solutions for specific customer applications.

One such was a wafer metrology low-profile XY-theta stage with large open aperture, finding a novel design approach for an open frame stage where the design doesn’t allow a centered drive to get a symmetric distribution of the force onto the axis. ALIO built a 300mm open center XY Nano Metrology stage with 3-Sigma, 6-D (linear, straightness, flatness, pitch, yaw and roll) and bi-directional repeatability of less than +/- 250nm. 

In cases where movement of the objective is impossible or the wafer needs to be lowered during transport to avoid collision, wafer chucks need to be lifted into measurement position with a perfectly straight movement. For such applications, ALIO has developed the NANO Z® patented Z-lift air bearing stages which has a novel air-bearing plus linear motor design in a very compact footprint with up to 24mm travel. Air bearing means negligible friction, enabling unparalleled accuracy and repeatability down to low double-digit nanometers.

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