MLA150 - Troubleshooting

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Revision as of 11:05, 5 February 2021 by John d (talk | contribs) (added "Stage not centered")
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Look below for the issue you're experiencing, to see if we have a workaround or solution.

Make sure you record your problem and solution in the log book! This is very important for allowing us to improve system stability and make repairs.

Known Bugs & Workarounds

Stage not centered during Substrate Load

When the system moves the stage to place your sample under the lens, the center of the stage is not under the lens!

WARNING: Do NOT continue if this occurs - there is significant danger of crashing the lens into a sample. Cancel the load.


In the software Menu, choose Tools > Initialize Stage, then retry your Job.

Exposure Logs / Reports

You can find a detailed log file of each exposure in the folder C:\HIMT\LogFiles\ExposureLogs. At the end of this file you can find final statistics from Field (Local) Alignment. You can copy the appropriate log file into your Nanofiles user folder to make it accessible via FTP.

If you run into an unusual error, please let us know the Job Name, so that we can local this log file if needed.

Defocus: unable to enter ±25 full range

In the Setup screen, Editors for Resist or Series templates, you are limited to only ±10 defocu, even though the system is capable of ±25.


In the Exposure screen - after wafer load etc. - you may still edit the defocus range, and in this screen you are able to type in the full range ±25. For a Series exposure (focus-exposure matrix, FEM), you can choose the "_Manual" template during Setup, and on the Expose screen you can edit the Series array to your needs with full defocus range.

Unexpected Behavior

If the software is acting unusual (black screen), or stage is moving to an incorrect location, or Convert software unable to launch, it could be due to the computer running out of RAM memory. A computer restart typically resolves this. Run the restart procedure below to resolve.

Convert software is unable to launch

  1. Check whether the XWindows software is available in the Windows Start bar - sometimes the window lands behind the MLAMenu software.
  2. If an error window is indicating some error with launching convert, then perform the computer reboot procedure below.

Focus Depth Motor Not Initialized

After an exposure has been initiated, but before exposure has actually begun, you get an error window stating the the "Focal Depth Motor is not initialized."

Notify staff

We can reinitialize that motor remotely, which will allow you to start your exposure.

Rebooting the Computer

Restarting the computer can resolve errors due to the system running out of memory (RAM), and also force the reinitialization & homing of motors.

Restart Procedure

  • In the MLAMenu (main) software, go to File > Exit.
    • It takes a minute or so to close everything. It will also close the camera viewer (SharkVision).
  • Reboot the computer via Windows Start > Power > Restart
    • It takes a few mins for the computer to reboot.
  • On the Windows login screen (Looks like "Heidelberg instruments" background), start typing to log in. Login info is written at the computer.
  • After logging back in, wait ~1 min until the 2 icons appear next to the Time in the start bar. (SiiPlus and XMing)
  • Then launch MLAMenu.exe, wait ~1 min until it has completed initializing.
  • Make sure the "Hardware" section of the software shows all components as "OK" or "Initialized"

System is ready to run exposure jobs.