Efficient Approach to Failure Response of Process Module in Dual-Arm Cluster Tools with Wafer Residency Time Constraints

Yan Qiao, Siwei Zhang, Naiqi Wu, Mengchu Zhou, Zhiwu Li, Ting Qu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


In semiconductor manufacturing, a process module (PM) failure in cluster tools (CTs) happens from time to time. To effectively operate a CT, such a failure should be handled in a proper and timely manner. This issue becomes much more complicated because wafer residency time constraints (WRTCs) must be met to ensure the quality for some wafer fabrication processes. With such constraints, if a tool is operated under a periodic schedule and a PM fails, it is desired that the tool can still operate under a periodic schedule if it is possible. Nevertheless, the periodic schedule after a PM failure must be different from that before its failure since in this case the tool is degraded. Thus, there must be a transient process between them. It is a great challenge to operate a tool such that it can go through such a transient process with WRTCs being always satisfied. This paper aims to solve this problem by proposing PM failure response policies which can successfully transfer a CT to the feasible schedule after failure from the one before a failure. Then, efficient algorithms are developed to improve these response policies. The proposed policies are composed of simple control laws such that they can be realized in real time and online. Illustrative examples are presented to show their applications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number8667426
Pages (from-to)1612-1629
Number of pages18
JournalIEEE Transactions on Systems, Man, and Cybernetics: Systems
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Software
  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


  • Cluster tools (CTs)
  • failure response
  • scheduling
  • semiconductor manufacturing


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