Automatic Control in Microelectronics Manufacturing: Practices, Challenges, and Possibilities

Advances in modeling and control will be required to meet future technical challenges in microelectronics manufacturing. The implementation of closed-loop control on key unit operations has been limited due to a dearth of suitable in situ measurements, variations in process equipment and wafer properties, limited process understanding, non-automated operational practices, and lack of trained personnel. This paper reviews the state-of-the-art for process control in semiconductor processing, and covers the key unit operations of lithography, plasma etching, thin film deposition, rapid thermal processing, and chemical-mechanical planarization. The relationship of process (equipment) models to control strategies is elaborated because recently there has been a considerable level of activity in model development in industry and academia. A proposed control framework for integrating factory control and equipment scheduling, supervisory control, feedback control, statistical process control, and fault detection/diagnosis in microelectronics manufacturing is presented and discussed.


T.F. Edgar, S.W. Butler, J. Campbell, C. Pfeiffer, C. Bode, S.B. Hwang, K.S. Balakrishnan, and J. Hahn. " Automatic Control in Microelectronics Manufacturing: Practices, Challenges, and Possibilities"

Automatica 36, No. 11, pp. 1567-1603 (2000)