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Several systems are presently being marketed that automatically detect and map surface defects on unpatterned wafers by means of light scattering. Applications of these wafer inspection systems in process control and incoming inspection are described. Systems based on scanned laser beams, discussed here in detail, have considerably higher dynamic range and give more reproducible results with non-isotropically-scattering defects than systems using television cameras.
surface defects, light scattering, scanned-laser systems, automated inspection
Senior Scientist, Tencor Instruments, Mountain View, Calif.