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Metryx Limited, a supplier of mass metrology equipment to the semiconductor manufacturing industry, today announced that it has entered into a joint development program with leading research institute IMEC. The program is designed to evaluate and develop mass metrology at both the application and tool level for sub-32nm process manufacturing. The signed collaboration follows the installation at IMEC of Metryx's Mentor SF3 300 mm tool and a Mentor OC23 200mm tool, announced earlier this year.
"The measurement of mass change at the atomic level, from one process step to another, has gained, and continues to gain, rapid market acceptance for a variety of manufacturing applications in IC fabs around the world," said Dr. Adrian Kiermasz, President and CEO of Metryx Ltd. "As we continue to scale down line widths to the sub-32nm level, observing the mass characteristics and the changes of a wafer's mass becomes even more critical. Collaborating with IMEC provides us with an excellent platform to demonstrate the effectiveness and versatility of the technology across a number of process applications."
Metryx's Mentor metrology tools monitor the mass of any wafer following a process step to quickly determine whether device manufacture process steps are operating consistently using passive data collection (PDC) and normal distribution analysis. The ability to quickly and accurately identify any process drift allows the process to be corrected or stopped immediately, saving scrap and preventing yield loss. The tools can be used to monitor a number of applications including shallow trench isolation, etch, deposition and CMP for both metal and dielectric layers.
"Mass metrology gives us extremely good insight into both process development and process stability," said Serge Vanhaelemeersch, Director of Advanced Materials and Process Steps at IMEC. "At the sub-32nm level, any slight variation in a deposition or etch process can be highlighted immediately and with a great deal of accuracy. With such precision, we know whether we are right or wrong at a very early stage, which could significantly reduce development time and scrap."
The Mentor tool can be used as an inline metrology tool and, because it is non-destructive, can be used directly on device wafers. The tool offers atomic level repeatability, low cost of ownership and high return on investment. The small-footprint Mentor is capable of throughput of up to 60 wafers per hour to enable nanotechnology mass measurement of production wafers, as well as test and blanket wafers, independent of substrate size or material.
About Metryx Limited
Metryx is a semiconductor equipment manufacturer specializing in unique nanotechnology mass measurement techniques. Based in Bristol, England, Metryx’ non-destructive 200mm and 300mm metrology tools offer atomic layer accuracy making them ideal for material characterization and device manufacture process control.
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