A system for ion etch control and optimum process quality

  • Model: IMP-EPD
  • Manufacturer: Hiden Analytical

Mass spectrometers for ion beam etching applications

The HAL IMP-EPD ion milling probe end point detectors can be configured for manual or automatic end point detection. The IMP-EPD systms are quadrupole mass spectrometers with ion optics and integral energy filter for direct analysis of secondary ions from the etch process. The secondary ions provide precise information about the wafer surface layer composition in real time through the etch process..


  • End point analysis
  • Target impurity determination
  • Quality control/SPC
  • Residual gas analysis
  • Leak detection

The IMP-EPD is a differentially pumped, ruggedised secondary ion mass spectrometer for the analysis of secondary ions from the ion beam etch process. The system includes integrated software with process specific algorithms developed for optimum process control.

The IMP-EPD system is process proven for the production of high specification thin film devices for applications including magnetic thin films, high temperature superconductors and III-V semiconductors.

The HAL IMP EPD system comprises:

– Type 3F series quadrupole mass spectrometer probe with:

  • Triple-stage mass filter for optimum abundance sensitivity and long term stability.
  • Integral energy filter for energy resolution of secondary ions.
  • Integrated electron bombardment ion source for residual gas analysis.
  • Electron multiplier pulse counting detector.

– UHV analyser housing, with sampling aperture and including conflat flange ports for turbomolecular pump and total pressure gauge mounting.

– Control electronics and Windows® MASsoft Professional PC Software with:

  • EPD 10-2 RC Interface unit
  • RF unit
  • Windows® MASsoft PC software enables mass scanning of continuous sequential masses and of selected mass channels with comprehensive data acquisition and presentation routines.
  • Automatic endpoint capability of the IMP-EPD system is enabled by the EPD variables option and I/O control that are included in the EPD 10-2 RC Interface unit configuration.

The HAL IMP EPD probes are offered in two alternative forms with standard and extended insertion lengths to assist mounting and positioning  in the process chamber:

  • Type A, with Bessel-box energy filter, for axial ion acceptance.
  • Type B, with parallel-plate energy filter, for ion acceptance at 30° to the probe axis.

Hiden IMP-EPD systems have a working distance from 50mm for small samples up to 150mm for larger samples, production wafers for example. Working distance is the distance from the sample surface to the probe acceptance aperture. Design integration for optimum positioning and mounting of the IMP-EPD probe on the process tool is included.

Probe mounting DN-63-CF – 114 mm OD Conflat type flange, with custom adaptor mounting options.
Operating modes Positive ion mode –  for end point detection.

RGA mode – for residual gas analysis- process chamber diagnostics and leak detection

Software Operating Modes

BAR mode for sequential mass scanning of user selectable mass window MID mode for scanning of user-selected mass channels

Profile mode for mass spectromter diagnostics

Process chamber operating Pressure Range

Operation up to 1 x 10-3 Torr with differential pumping, and with differential pumping and restrictor aperture plates. Four restrictor plates with 1mm, 2mm and 3mm aperture sizes, are included. A 4mm aperture pate is fitted as standard

UHV to 5 x 10-6 Torr without differential pumping.

Mass Range 300 amu
Resolution MΔM = M at 5% peak height where ΔM < 1 amu.
Detector Electron multiplier pulse ion counting detector
Energy Filter Energy range 100 eV.

Energy pass band  0.5 eV.

Ion Source Electron impact, radially symmetric filament for RGA mode.

Twin filament included in Type B systems with 30 degree ion acceptance. Single filament included in Type A systems with axial ion acceptance.

Mass Filter 3 stages each of 4 poles.

Pole diameter 6.35 mm.

Bakeout Temperature

Vacuum Protection External trip for remote protection.
Standard Comms RS232, USB 2.0, and Ethernet 10/100/1000 Base-T LAN
Process I/O 8 digital inputs compatible with 5V and 24V logic levels.

8 open collector digital outputs (30V, 500mA max) 5 configurable I/O lines, 2 trip relay outputs

Power  100-240V AC, 50-60 Hz, 250 VA
Requirements Maximum voltage fluctuation -10% to 7%.

IMP EPD – End Point Detector An overview of the Hiden Analytical SIMS end point detector system for ion beam etch applications


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