Patent Number: 7,084,967

Title: Scanning system for inspecting anomalies on surfaces

Abstract: A high sensitivity and high throughput surface inspection system directs a focused beam of light at a grazing angle towards the surface to be inspected. Relative motion is caused between the beam and the surface so that the beam scans a scan path covering substantially the entire surface and light scattered along the path is collected for detecting anamolies. The scan path comprises a plurality of arrays of straight scan path segments. The focused beam of light illuminates an area of the surface between 5 15 microns in width and this system is capable of inspecting in excess of about 40 wafers per hour for 150 millimeter diameter wafers (6-inch wafers), in excess of about 20 wafers per hour for 200 millimeter diameter wafers (8-inch wafers) and in excess of about 10 wafers per hour for 300 millimeter diameter wafers (12-inch wafers).

Inventors: Nikoonahad; Mehrdad (Menlo Park, CA), Stokowski; Stanley E. (Danville, CA)

Assignee: KLA --Tencor Corporation

International Classification: G01N 21/88 (20060101)

Expiration Date: 8/01/02018