On a Sampling Decision System using Virtual Metrology

SONY DSC … ist der Titel einer der beiden besten Diplom- bzw. Magisterarbeiten aller Studien der Technischen Fakultät an der Universität Klagenfurt und wurde vom Förderverein Technische Fakultät mit EUR 1.000,– ausgezeichnet. Dem Autor und Preisträger, Herrn Dipl.-Ing. Daniel Kurz, wurde der Preis im Rahmen der Generalversammlung 2013 übergeben und die Arbeit wird hier kurz vorgestellt:

The common approach to semiconductor process control is based on physical measurements of a certain number of processed wafers. Therefore, the status of the process is just controlled within certain time lags, which might result in delayed observations of process abnormalities. Moreover, the measurement rules are typically of a statical nature meaning that the measurement policy is not adapted to current production conditions. In this master thesis, we propose a novel approach to semiconductor process control based on virtual measurements. These are predictions on the location of the real measurements in the control chart depending on the status of the equipment while processing. The advantage of the application of virtual measurements is that they are available for every wafer. Therefore, the status of the process can be steadily controlled and process deviations can be realized earlier. Moreover, the usage of virtual measurements allows for adapting the measurement policy to current process conditions. Whenever virtual measurements provide sufficiently strong evidence that the process is running within the control limits, there is no need of triggering physical measurements. However, if process abnormalities are signalized by the virtual measurement, a physical measurement needs to be triggered. Therefore, physical metrology operations can be scheduled in a more efficient way.

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