Course Content and Outcome Guide for MT 227

Course Number:
MT 227
Course Title:
Process Equipment II
Credit Hours:
Lecture Hours:
Lecture/Lab Hours:
Lab Hours:
Special Fee:

Course Description

Covers subsystems of a semiconductor processing system. Includes pneumatics and robotic systems. Focuses on analysis, maintenance and troubleshooting.

Addendum to Course Description

This is Part II of the three course series on semiconductor process equipment. Part I (MT224) covers the individual components of a process system (controllers, sensors, motors, etc.) Part II and III cover process equipment as a whole system. The LAM Rainbow etcher system is used as a typical example of fab process equipment. Students will learn operations, theory of how various subsystems of the system function, maintenance procedures, and trouble shooting of the etcher.
Students in this course are expected to be able to carry out independent research in order to discover the components and functions of the etcher system. They are also expected to be able to integrate their knowledge gained in MT224, MT240, and MT223 to gain insights into the etcher system.

Intended Outcomes for the course

I. Course Specific Knowledge and Professional Competence Intended Outcomes:
1.     Understand modern semiconductor process equipment at various levels:
1.1. Component level: explain how components of process equipment work (example: how does a stepper motor take discrete steps)
1.2. Subsystem level: find out how a subsystem of process equipment works through research, reading schematics, etc. (Example: be able to investigate how a cassette indexer automatically controls feeding of wafers to the etcher with precision.)
1.3. System level: Obtain a comprehensive understanding of the functioning of modern fab equipment from the very top level (computer controllers) to the bottom level individual components, such as sensors and motors and pneumatic valves. (Example: be able to describe under what conditions the controller issues what signals to command the stepper motors to go how many steps to cause the wafer transfer robots to move to what position.)  
2.     Gain confidence in working with fab equipment, which includes competence in the following three areas:
2.1. Operation: show proficiency in operating one tool€”the Rainbow etcher
2.2. Maintenance: learn and perform some basic industry standard maintenance procedures and recover and return system to production worthy state.
3.     Trouble shooting: perform simple trouble shooting tasks following a basic trouble-shooting methodology.
II. Transferable skill-set intended learning outcomes:
1.     Independent research skills: students have to carry out independent research in this course. Guidance and hints will be provided by the instructor. Resources in terms of manuals, schematic drawings and supplemental reading materials will be provided. From these starting points students will carry out independent investigation of the etcher system. You will learn how to find out answers on your own. You will learn to ask pertinent questions and set them up as goals of your research. You will learn to adopt strategies to achieve your research goals in an efficient manner. You will learn to define the scope of your research. You will learn to gather clues to guide you in your research. You will learn to draw upon your previous knowledge gained to support your current research.
2.     Learn how to handle complexity: The etcher is a fairly complex system. In all of your previous MT courses, you have learned how to deal with component level systems (e.g. a circuit, a DC motor, etc.). Now you are asked to handle a much more complex integrated system with thousands of individual components. You will learn how to handle this complexity.
3.     Team work skills: students have to work in groups of four to eight people. You have to count on fellow team members to pool your knowledge and effort together to be able to accomplish your research, maintenance and trouble shooting tasks. You will learn to divide up labor efficiently.
4.     Communication skills: students should be able to communicate effectively to fellow students and the instructor the findings of their research projects and progress in their maintenance and trouble shooting tasks. Students will also learn to read and understand relevant specs and procedures.

Course Activities and Design

The course will include instructor delivered lectures and demonstrations stressing key topics in the course. In preparation for the lecture portion of the course, students will be expected to complete all reading and homework assignments. Students will perform independent research, preventative maintenance, and trouble-shooting in class. Students may be required to come to the lab after school to work in groups on equipment as a part of homework.

Outcome Assessment Strategies

Assessment of student performance in this course will be in the form of written and/or practice-based questions. Some formal reports and presentations are required also.

Course Content (Themes, Concepts, Issues and Skills)

Chapter 1              Introduction:
Section 1         Introduction to the Rainbow etcher
1                 Name peripheral equipment to our etcher; describe their basic functions; be able to find their location; describe how they are linked to the etcher; and correlate our equipment to the ones used in the fab.
2                 Name the subsystems of our etcher. Describe their functions. Be able to draw a block diagram explaining how they fit into the etcher as a whole. Be able to mentally dissect process equipment into subsystems so that you can break down a complex system into its simpler blocks.
3                 Learn to inspect process equipment by eye and identify major components and their functions. (such as the AC DC input box, ELL, XLL, indexer, etc.)
Section 2         Power distribution subsystem research:
1                 Learn to inspect a subsystem of process equipment by eye. Through such inspections, identify its major components, observe clues and use them to guess the functions of individual components, and finally piece the above discoveries together and answer the question how the functions of individual components work together to achieve the overall functionality of the whole subsystem.
2                 Learn to trace power/signal/pressure lines within a piece of equipment, and map out how components relate to each other.
3                 Be able to describe the major components of the Rainbow etcher power distribution system, their locations, the functions of the individual components, and how they work together to achieve the overall functions of the power distribution system.
4                 Learn to use a block diagram to describe how components in a system relate to each other.
Section 3         Safety Lecture
1                 Name sources of hazards in the etcher
2                 Describe the nature of such hazards
3                 Describe measures to take to protect oneself from the hazards
4                 Describe and practice Class Safety Policy
Section 4         Controller system lecture:
1                 Describe the structure (signal path) of a DAQ card PC to sensor/actuator interface.
2                 Describe the structure of the Rainbow controller to sensor/actuator interface.
3                 Know the parallelism between the PC and Rainbow controller structure.
Chapter 2              Operations of the Rainbow etcher
Section 1         Level I operations:
1                 be able to turn tool on/off
2                 navigate among menu pages
3                 read recipe features
4                 handle common alarms
Section 2         Level II operations:
1                 Perform wafer auto clearance
2                 Perform chamber vent and pump down automatic routine
3                 Perform semi-automatic wafer transfer
4                 Perform step-by-step manual wafer transfer
Chapter 3              Schematic Reading:
Section 1         Schematic reading:
1                 Understand the structure of a Lam part number
2                 Understand the Lam connector naming convention
3                 Learn to navigate within the Lam software schematic manual
4                 Learn to trace signals from sensors/actuators all the way to the controller ADIO
Chapter 4              Pneumatics
Section 1         Pneumatic Lecture:
1                 Describe the basic components of a pneumatic system
2                 Be able to recognize symbols of basic pneumatic components
3                 Be able to read simple pneumatic diagrams
4                 Describe the how pneumatic cylinders and solenoid valves work
5                 Describe how the basic components of a pneumatic system can achieve control and actuation of pneumatic action.
Section 2         Pneumatic system research:
1                 Learn to raise pertinent questions as goals of a research project. In process equipment research: lean to ask the generic questions: What are the components of the system? Where are the components? What does each component do? What are the main functions and features of the system? How do the functions of the individual components work together to achieve the overall functions of the whole system?
2                 Be able to answer the above questions for the Rainbow etcher pneumatic system.
3                 Understand the structure of the control system of the pneumatic system, ie. how signals travel. Do so by reading the software schematic manual. Be able to handle complex schematics by breaking it down into simpler blocks.
4                 Learn to read a fairly complex PCB circuit diagram (such as the pneumatic interlock PCB). Discern its inputs, outputs, dissect it into simpler blocks, understand how each block work by signal tracing.
5                 Be able to use macro commands to command the actuation of Rainbow pneumatic actuators.
Section 3         Pneumatic system trouble-shooting:
1                 Learn to practice a basic trouble-shooting methodology: Be able to form an objective problem statement, Be able to form a clear mental picture of the entire system involved in the problem, Be able to design and then carry out quick and definitive tests to isolate the problem to a subsystem., Be able to make a list of all possible causes of the problem in this sub-system., Be able to design quick and definitive tests to verify whether a possible cause is the true cause or not., Be able to prioritize to see which possible causes to check first based on the ease of the check and the probability of the cause,

Chapter 5              Wafer Transfer System Research.
Section 1         Wafer transfer system research
1                 Be able to develop a list of functions and features of a system by observing its operation.
2                 Be able to discover the answers to the following questions for the wafer transfer system through independent research: What are the components of the system? Where are the components? What does each component do? What are the main functions and features of the system? How do the functions of the individual components work together to achieve the overall functions of the whole system? Understand the structure of the control system of the pneumatic system, ie. how signals travel. 
3                 Understand how the stepper motor driver circuit works.
4                 Be able to present the results of the above research to your peers in a written report as well as in a presentation. Be able to choose the most effective medium/format (images, video, live demo, etc.) to communicate your message across.