Control performance assessment of run-to-run control system used in high-mix semiconductor manufacturing



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Control performance assessment (CPA) is an important tool to realize high performance control systems in manufacturing plants. CPA of both continuous and batch processes have attracted much attention from researchers, but only a few results about semiconductor processes have been proposed previously. This work provides methods for performance assessment and diagnosis of the run-to-run control system used in high-mix semiconductor manufacturing processes. First, the output error source of the processes with a run-to-run EWMA controller is analyzed and a CPA method (namely CPA I) is proposed based on closed-loop parameter estimation. In CPA I, ARMAX regression is directly applied to the process output error, and the performance index is defined based on the variance of the regression results. The influence of plant model mismatch in the process gain and disturbance model parameter to the control performance in the cases with or without set point change is studied. CPA I method is applied to diagnose the plant model mismatch in the case with set point change. Second, an advanced CPA method (namely CPA II) is developed to assess the control performance degradation in the case without set point change. An estimated disturbance is generated by a filter, and ARMAX regression method is applied to the estimated disturbance to assess the control performance. The influence of plant model mismatch, improper controller tuning, metrology delay, and high-mix process parameters is studied and the results showed that CPA II method can quickly identify, diagnose and correct the control performance degradation.
The CPA II method is applied to industrial data from a high-mix photolithography process in Texas Instruments and the influence of metrology delay and plant model mismatch is discussed. A control performance optimization (CPO) method based on analysis of estimated disturbance is proposed, and optimal EWMA controller tuning factor is suggested. Finally, the CPA II method is applied to non-threaded run-to-run controller which is developed based on state estimation and Kalman filter. Overall process control performance and state estimation behavior are assessed. The influence of plant model mismatch and improper selection of different controller variables is studied.