SEMI E163 - Guide for the Handling of Reticles and Other Extremely Electrostatic Sensitive (EES) Items Within Specially Designated Areas
This Standard was technically approved by the Metrics Global Technical Committee. This edition was approved for publication by the global Audits and Reviews Subcommittee on May 16, 2017. Available at www.semiviews.org and www.semi.org in December 2017; originally published February 2012.
The purpose of this Document is to minimize the negative impact on productivity caused by static charge and electric fields in semiconductor manufacturing equipment and facilities. It is a Guide for establishing optimum electrostatic compatibility of the handling environment for reticles and other items that are extremely electrostatic sensitive (EES) to electrostatic charge, voltage, and electric field. This Guide is complementary to SEMI E78 and SEMI E129 and is intended to improve the protection of the most electrostatic damage-susceptible items.
This Document can be used as a Guide for equipment manufacturers during the design and testing of their equipment and by those who either use or produce reticles and other EES items.
Process technology used in the manufacture of semiconductors and electronic devices continues to achieve increases in active feature density and device complexity. With increased levels of integration, longer interconnects, and smaller conductor separations, sensitivity to field-related problems increases. This Document provides recommendations for addressing the problem of damage through closer examination of electric field as a supplement to existing static charge mitigation techniques.
The scope of this Document is limited to the definition of principles for handling reticles and other EES items within a specially designated controlled environment and recommendation of an appropriate level of electric field to maintain within that environment.
This Document presents recommendations about grounding and material selection that conflict with established methods of electrostatic charge control (e.g., those defined in ANSI/ESD S20.20 for devices of 100 volt human body model [HBM] sensitivity) so the guidance given here should be applied only within a specially designated and clearly identified area.
This Document references SEMI E78, SEMI E129, SEMI E43, and other methods of measuring electrostatic parameters. The set of Documents is complementary, providing guidance on managing different aspects of electrostatic risk under a wide range of conditions.
While this Document makes frequent reference to electrostatic fields and effects, for the purposes of this Guide this should also be considered to include alternating, variable, and transient electric and electromagnetic fields. All such fields can potentially generate electrical stress within an EES item.
Wherever this Document makes reference to reticles, this should be regarded as an example of an EES item that has been studied in depth and which is being used for illustrative purposes. The principles being discussed may also be relevant to other items that exhibit extreme electrostatic sensitivity so the guidance should not be regarded as exclusive to reticles and reticle handling. Such EES items may include small geometry device structures on wafers, packaged devices in back end processing where charged device model (CDM) sensitivity may be a problem, and device structures on glass in flat panel display (FPD) manufacturing.
Referenced SEMI Standards
SEMI E43 — Guide for Electrostatic Measurements on Objects and Surfaces
SEMI E78 — Guide to Assess and Control Electrostatic Discharge (ESD) and Electrostatic Attraction (ESA) for Equipment
SEMI E129 — Guide to Assess and Control Electrostatic Charge in a Semiconductor Manufacturing Facility