Delivers world-class device patterning and productivity for 7 nm node applications
The semiconductor industry is moving to development of 7 nm generation process devices, with the most critical layers exposed using ArF immersion scanners. Although today’s lithography systems provide unprecedented overlay and throughput capabilities, it is real-world, on-product performance that is essential to semiconductor manufacturers.
The NSR-S631E leverages the well-known Streamlign platform, incorporating the latest developments in lens, autofocus, and alignment technology to deliver unparalleled multiple patterning performance. Meanwhile, progressions in stage technology and defectivity reduction maximize fab productivity and yield. In addition, the S631E is compatible with sophisticated computational and on-product learning software solutions supported by the Nikon Plug and Play Manager. Together, these elements ensure world-class device patterning and optimum fab productivity to fully satisfy 7 nm node requirements.
Enhances CD control through superior lens design, reduced aberrations, and industry-leading focus stability
Nikon continues to reduce projection lens distortion. The newly developed S631E lens design also delivers lower projection lens wavefront levels, which was made possible through advanced lens tuning capabilities. In addition, the NSR-S631E employs the advanced Quick Reflex II system that includes critical new modules that enhance image quality for on-product patterning. This system also provides additional compensation for residual wavefront error and pattern dependencies to optimize overlay in manufacturing.
Delivers mix-and-match overlay ≤ 2.3 nm and minimized edge placement errors for advanced multiple patterning
The NSR-S631E utilizes the established Bird's Eye Control system that accurately determines wafer position, as well as a reticle stage with an encoder servo system to increase accuracy. In addition, the S631E uses a re-designed alignment module with a new light source, improved image sensor, and optimized heat control to enhance detection and measurement repeatability for on-product alignment marks. The S631E has achieved lot single machine overlay (SMO) Avg. + 3σ capabilities below 1.3 nm.
The S631E also supports Dynamic Matching Adjustment control functions to expand overlay matching capabilities, while Reticle Bending enables reticle-specific adjustments to compensate for reticle signatures. These cutting-edge compensation capabilities are a significant factor in overlay and matching performance for multiple patterning applications. The S631E has demonstrated superior lot mix-and-match overlay Avg. + 3σ below 2 nm (including edge shots).
Advances in scaling inevitably come with reduced depth of focus, while focus variation can lead to increased CD variation and thus increased edge placement error. As a result, the focus budget is as critical as the overlay budget at leading-edge nodes. The S631E autofocus (AF) system reduces variability for product materials, and overall on-product focus errors for the S631E were 30% lower than the previous generation S630D. The NSR-S631E has demonstrated focus uniformity 3σ performance below 6 nm for all shots across the wafer using Phase Shift Focus Monitor (PSFM).
Ensures exceptional focus and overlay control through sophisticated computational and on-product learning solutions
The NSR-S631E delivers optimal “cool” lens performance, and also minimizes thermal impacts across diverse illumination types to dramatically improve manufacturing capabilities. Extensive testing has confirmed that the NSR-S631E controls lens heating precisely and corrects reticle expansion effectively. Evaluations under various conditions have consistently demonstrated lot Avg. + 3σ overlay results below 2.3 nm during extreme “combination” overlay testing.
The NSR-S631E is also compatible with a number of “Masters”– automated software solutions that ensure the scanner is performing at its best. LNS (lens) Master enables reticle-specific thermal compensation on the scanner, and combines with the Thermal Aberration Optimizer (ThAO) system to enable computational calculation and correction of lens heating aberrations without heat testing. CDU Master provides high-order dose and focus adjustments to reduce residual CD errors both across the shot and across the wafer—from sources including mask, etch, and the litho process. OPE Master uses customer test-pattern data and scanner adjustments to provide illumination condition matching for aligning performance across a fleet of scanners. The NSR-S631E supports Zeroing XY, AF, and DIS functions to optimize performance stability as well. These various tuning functions are integrated together by the Nikon Plug and Play Manager to increase yield in high volume manufacturing.
Optimizes affordability with superior reliability and ultra-high throughput up to 270 wafers per hour
Affordability is a significant challenge for immersion multiple patterning. NSR-S631E reliability and throughput are critical factors in boosting wafer output per day and overall cost efficiency. The S631E incorporates high speed stages and other key innovations to process up to 270 wafers per hour. In addition, nozzle innovations prevent immersion defects, while enhanced overlay and focus stability contribute to maximized tool productivity and fab daily output. These are all crucial factors in enabling cost-effective, leading-edge multiple patterning.
It is real-world, on-product performance that is vital to chipmakers. With the NSR-S631E, Nikon combines superior immersion scanner technology with innovative hardware and software solutions to deliver exceptional manufacturing performance and productivity—now and for the future.