The KLA-Tencor STARlight"' Series provides the most comprehensive, advanced reticle contamination inspection system. Unlike other contamination inspection systems, STARlight assures reticle quality as the reticles move from blanks to manufacturing and throughout their productive life in wafer fabrication.
With the highest contamination detection rate and automated re-qualification features, STARlight contamination inspection system monitors reticle quality throughout the lithography process for new contaminants and plate degradation. Whether in reticle manufacturing or in the lithography process, it is critical to keep a reticle defect and contamination free. The most difficult contamination defects to detect are flat defects, or defects with zero z-height. These contamination defects include transmission errors, stains, pinholes and scratches.
Previously, many of these contaminants and flaws on the reticle posed little threat to printing on the wafer and could go undetected. However, with STARlight contamination inspection system and the improved resolution of advanced steppers, flat defects are now imaging onto the wafer and causing yield-limiting defects.
In today's aggressive lithography process, only STARlight contamination inspection systems can provide the sensitivity needed to capture small defects and contaminants on the reticles, regardless of their height or location. Alternative technology, such as darkfield laser-scattering, requires a particle to have z-height to be detected, thus missing most semi-transparent defects.