Satisfying semiconductor makers’ challenging inspection requirements
In addition to delivering steppers and scanners for cutting-edge semiconductor applications, Nikon also offers a suite of advanced semiconductor inspection systems. Nikon leverages over 100 years of optical design and manufacturing expertise to deliver Automatic Macro Inspection (AMI) systems to meet the most challenging inspection requirements of today’s IC makers.

Comprehensive inspection solutions for coating issues, defocus, particles and more
AMI systems capture wafer images and then use artificial intelligence (AI) image processing to compare those images with previously learned defect-free wafer images to identify defects. The evaluation judgment can identify the number of defects or defective chips, perform auto defect classification (ADC), and report defects’ shapes, etc. AMI-3500/5600 systems can detect particles (foreign materials) as small as 15 μm, scratches, and uneven resist coatings. In addition – they can detect a variety of pattern defocus conditions that are typically beyond the capabilities of traditional macro inspection tools.

AMI systems also support optional backside inspection and edge bead removal (EBR) inspection capabilities. Through the successful integration of a variety of Nikon proprietary optical systems including diffraction, polarization and pattern edge roughness techniques- the AMI-3500/5600 tools can successfully detect a multitude of defects types that are extremely difficult or time-consuming for other inspection systems to capture.

Optimal sensitivity for immersion lithography and advanced nodes
The Nikon AMI diffracted light detection system detects pattern variations along the Z-axis including focus error as well as coating abnormalities with ultra-high sensitivity. In addition, accurate recognition of the diffracted light only from the top pattern layers is possible, allowing defects in underlying patterns to be differentiated. The AMI-3500 supports lithography applications down to 3x and 2x nm nodes, while new mirror tilting optics contribute to reduced underlayer noise and enable AMI-5600 system application down to 1x nm lithography.

Deliver ultra-high throughput inspection of entire wafer surface
AMI-3500 and 5600 systems capture the entire wafer surface in a single image, enabling 100% lot inspection with ultra-high throughput of 170 (300 mm) wafers/hour. To maximize fab efficiency – measurements can conveniently be performed using test or production pattern targets. Line/space and contact hole inspection can be performed as well.

AI-driven image processing and sophisticated defect classification enhance inspection capabilities
Nikon’s proven image processing technology, driven by AI is applied for intelligent device inspection. Proprietary learning functions quantify acceptable “good wafer image” results for each process, providing the flexibility to adapt to diverse processes and provide stable inspection output. The AMI systems also support automatic defect classification (ADC) and operators can specify their rework criteria within specific recipes to automate rework judgment. The AMI systems’ automatic recipe creation function is user-friendly and requires minimal experience for programming.

Nikon continues to develop our inspection system portfolio for the most demanding applications, and AMI-3500/5600 systems will meet the needs of 3D memory, logic and CMOS image sensor devices.