GEKA ASSOCIATES, with a proven track record in introducing breakthrough equipment for the microelectronics industry is seeking a partnership with an industrial entity interested in the productization and commercialization of two on-line process control (product wafers) modules based on the proven technologies currently used in process monitoring requiring monitor wafers:

  • A patented RF-based, non-contact electrical measurement system referred to as Defect Specific Lifetime Analyzer (DSLA) for on-line monitoring of semiconductor surface and bulk defects in microelectronic and wide bandgap device manufacturing

  • A proprietary photo-thermal surface cleaning on-line modules for elipsometry and other applications identified by device manufacturers including a pre-clean treatment for gate oxidation, silicon epitaxy, and wafer bonding processes.

These products are a continuation of the past development and productization efforts that were focused on phenomena and systems involving the interaction of electromagnetic radiation with semiconductors. GEKA development started in 1985 with invention of selenium-based digital mammography (US patents 4,544,887 and 4,663,526) and evolved into semiconductor metrology and advanced surface processing. The products initiated by GEKA were developed and introduced on the market by GEKA founded companies: Optical Diagnostic Systems, Inc, SemiTest, Inc. and QC Solution, Inc.

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Semiconductor Process Control

1989: The Surface Charge Analyzer (SCA) featured by Semiconductor International

1990: The Surface Charge Analyzer (SCA) selected product of the year by Semiconductor International.

The Surface Charge Analyzer (SCA) which addressed semiconductor process monitoring was introduced by GEKA founded SemiTest, Inc.
company shipped several hundred systems to major semiconductor manufacturers in US, Japan, and Europe including Intel, IBM, Motorola, Texas Instruments, NEC, Hitachi, and Siemens. SCA is used to control a wide range of advanced processes, including furnace operations, chemical vapor deposition (LPCVD) of silicon nitride, resist strips, and wafer cleaning.
Main patents:
US 4,827,212; US 4,544,887;
US 6,315,574; ...

The Defect Specific Lifetime Analyzer (DSLA)
The particular advantage of DSLA over SCA is its capability for process monitoring using product wafers.
SCA can not be used for on-line monitoring with product wafers due to a narrow probe-wafer gap and high voltage bias or corona surface charging requirements. However with increasing wafer diameter as well as increasing cost of wafer processing and tightening of requirements to achieve finer features, a need for high quality deposition and etch processes is driving towards single wafer processing that eliminates usage of monitor wafers.
Main patents,
US 7,898,280,B2; US 8,896,338,B2; ...

Advanced microelectronic devices are made on epitaxial layers (epi) and quality control of epi formation is one of the critical steps in device manufacturing. In 1993 GEKA founded QC Solution, Inc. introduced the Surface Charge Profiler (SCP) which addressed monitoring critical parameters of epi layers. Customers of SCP include all major wafer manufacturers in the world as well as a number of leading device manufacturers.
Protected by US 4,827,212 and 4 additional patents US 6,388,455... US 6,967,490.

2001: The Surface Charge Profiler (SCP) introduced by QC Solutions, Inc. was selected product of the year by Semiconductor International.


Sep, 1999: featured in Solid State Technology

Miniaturization of semiconductor devices requires control of oxide thickness at sub-atomic levels and substantial reduction of the surface contamination by removing the hydrocarbon layer along with the species deposited on it. While surface contamination at that level becomes a critical issue, the standard methods do not offer the efficiency required in device manufacturing. To address this issue QC Solutions, Inc. founded by GEKA developed a fast, non-contact, and non-invasive surface cleaning technology based on the photo-thermal phenomena and introduced a system dubbed "Rapid Optical Surface Treatment" (ROST).

The current application of ROST technology is for thin-film measurements (ellipsometry). The preliminary data demonstrated that ROST lifts off the absorbed dipol layer from the surface of a wafer, removing with it any deposited species in much shorter time and more effectively than standard wet cleaning processes. The process is done at temperature below 300 degree C in less than 1min. [ROST 2, 3]

The current GEKA effort is focused on an on-line Photo-Thermal Cleaning (ROST) Modules tailored to customer specified applications for thin film measurements and final pre-clean treatment in gate oxidation, silicon epitaxy, and wafer bonding applications. The module designs will allow their integration into existing metrology and processing systems. The ROST modules are not intended to replace chemical cleaning, that may be required e.g., after long storage of the wafers, but supplement them with the final clean before next processing step.

Patents: US 6,325,078; US 6,803,588 and WO 2004/107433