Microcontamination Sensor for VLSI Semiconductor Manufacturing

Period of Performance: 07/24/1996 - 12/31/1996


Phase 1 STTR

Recipient Firm

LOS Gatos Research
Mountain View, CA 94041
Principal Investigator
Firm POC

Research Institution

SRI International
333 Ravenswood Avenue Mail stop: 306-17
Menlo Park, CA 94025
Institution POC

Research Topics


A ppb- and sub-ppb-level water vapor microcontamination sensor is critically needed in the semiconductor industry. Trace concentrations of water vapor in highly reactive gases used in Very Large Scale Integration (VLSI) manufacturing decrease significantly the yield of IC chips produced. We propose to develop a novel optical microsensor capable of reaching the required ultra-high detection sensitivity in a package suitable for use in industrial environment. In Phase I we will demonstrate the feasibility of our technical approach and measure the detection sensitivity. During the Phase II, we will build the complete sensor and deliver a pre-production prototype of the instrument to the BMDO. ANTICIPATED BENEFITS/POTENTIAL COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS: The sensor proposed here will be in orders of magnitude more sensitive than existing optical gas sensors and will be commercially applicable in industrial process control, medical diagnostics and environmental monitoring.