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To meet the increasing demand for smaller, faster, and more powerful devices, a continued decrease in the dimensions of active parts of devices is required.
Scientists from the Institut Català de Nanociència i Nanotecnologia (Catalan Institute for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology - ICN2) announced pioneering software for line pattern image analysis at the SPIE Advanced Lithography (San Jose, CA; 23 - 27 February 2014). The presented methodology is a unique tool developed to address the gap existent in dimensional metrology of sub-10 nm line patterns. This is a methodology to quantify the critical dimensions and defect density of line arrays in regimes where optical inspection cannot reach. The software has been developed by the ICN2 Phononic and Photonic Nanostructures Group, led by ICREA Professor C. M. Sotomayor Torres, in collaboration with University College Cork (Ireland), led by Professor A. Amann.
Directed self-assembly (DSA) of block copolymers (BCPs), a method already compatible with existing electronic technologies, has gained the attention of the lithography community as a most promising avenue to advance miniaturisation. First-generation DSA is on the verge of entering high-volume manufacturing by successfully increasing sub-20 nm contact hole resolution in a cost-effective manner. DSA for reproducible sub-10 nm pitch sizes is a hot research topic in Asia, Europe, and the Americas.
One of the main challenges for R&D, material suppliers, or manufacturers is specialised metrology for DSA-based lithography. It is here where the method invented by ICN2/UCC is expected to bring decisive advantages in the characterization of nanometer line patterns, one of the key elements in circuit manufacturing. The presented methodology is state-of-the-art, user-friendly, and customizable software successfully addressing this issue, complimentary to conventional optical inspection tools.
This R&D project is in validation stage and is available for development in joint ventures with partners interested in materials, metrology, manufacturing, and applications involving DSA.
Download the software's informative brochure: www.icn.cat/pdf/brochures/bcp-software.pdf
ICN2 is a highly specialized and renowned research center. Its research lines focus on the newly discovered physical and chemical properties that arise from the fascinating behavior of matter at the nanoscale. The patrons of ICN2 are the Government of Catalonia (Generalitat), the CSIC, and the Autonomous University of Barcelona (UAB).
The Institute promotes collaboration among scientists from diverse backgrounds (physics, chemistry, biology, engineering) to develop basic and applied research, always seeking interactions with local and global industry. ICN2 also trains researchers in nanotechnology, develops intense activity to facilitate the uptake of nanotechnology in industry, and promotes networking among scientists, engineers, technicians, business people, society, and policy makers.
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Claudia Delgado Simão, Ph.D.
Phononic and Photonic Nanostructures (P2N) Group
Catalan Institute of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (ICN2)
Edifici Nanotecnologia ICN2, Campus de la UAB 08193 Bellaterra (Barcelona) SPAIN
Tel.: +34 93 737 16 16
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