Our work

Rapid detection of the smallest particles

In chip manufacture the smallest particles can make a product useless. To prevent this, it is essential to be able to detect particles of around 50 nanometres. TNO has developed a special scanner, the Rapid Nano, which can ascertain the clean operation methods that are applicable, how well they work and how they can be improved so that no contamination escapes unnoticed.

Nanotechnology has enabled the manufacturer of chips with increasingly smaller structures, with the state-of-the-art being the very finest structures of just 22 nanometres. According to Moore's law, the size will continue to fall year after year. The very slightest contamination during the chip manufacture process can be disastrous. The latest standards for semiconductor equipment stipulate that no more than a single particle of 50 nanometres per ten cycles may be added to a 15 x 15 centimetre mask during the production process. If it happens, you certainly want to know about within a couple of hours. Compare it with trying to pick out a tennis ball lying somewhere in an area the size of the Netherlands while flying a jet fighter at full speed overhead. The question is whether there is one tennis ball more today than there was yesterday and, if so, where is it. No object may be overlooked.

Affordable

TNO has developed a special scanner, the Rapid Nano, a relatively affordable instrument that can fully scan the reflective surface (of EUV masks, for example) in a shielded clean box. The inspection system uses a double darkfield concept, whereby information is recorded by a camera. The data are then saved for offline dataprocessing and evaluation: tracking and tracing. The solution has particular many benefits. Nanometre particles are scanned in the patented clean box at a velocity of 100 cm2 per hour. Moreover, the solution can be customised to the customer's process. The scanner was used successfully during the development of the robot that transported the EUV masks in the first EUV wafersteppers of ASML, and in the manufacture of image sensors.

Reliable

Over the past decade TNO has been a leading figure in the detection of particles in the EUV domain. With its knowledge of optics, signal processing, vacuum technology and ultraclean operation, TNO continues to create methods that can reliably detect and localise defects. Prevention is better than cure. Instruments like the Rapid Nano can be used during equipment development so that potential problems are highlighted early on. In this way we help companies to produce attractively priced state-of-the-art.

Downloads
News

Major release of NetSquid for designing quantum networks

23 December 2020
The first major version of NetSquid, a specialised simulator for quantum networks, has been publicly released. NetSquid is developed at QuTech, a collaboration between the TU Delft and TNO. The software... Read more
News

Position Paper: Envisioning a European Platform Economy

23 October 2020
Studies show that digitisation is the key to growth in European industry. But digitisation comes with many challenges. And the complications of a global pandemic and trade wars between the US and China... Read more
News

Germany and The Netherlands come up with a bilateral agenda on hydrogen and green electrons for industry

15 October 2020
In a bilateral virtual workshop between Germany and The Netherlands, hundred invited experts from industry, knowledge institutes, regions and governments discussed ideas for a bilateral agenda on hydrogen... Read more

Contact

FOLLOW TNO ON SOCIAL MEDIA

Stay up to date with our latest news, activities and vacancies

TNO.nl collects and processes data in accordance with the applicable privacy regulations for an optimal user experience and marketing practices.
This data can easily be removed from your temporary profile page at any time.
You can also view our privacy statement or cookie statement.