Manufacturing Bits: Oct. 18


Measuring gooey materials The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and Thermo Fisher Scientific have devised an instrument that correlates the flow properties of “soft gooey” materials, such as gels, molten polymers and biological fluids. The instrument, called a rheo-Raman microscope, combines three instruments into one system. First, the system incorporates a Raman sp... » read more

Inside Inspection And Metrology


Semiconductor Engineering sat down to talk about inspection, metrology and other issues with Mehdi Vaez-Iravani, vice president of advanced imaging technologies at Applied Materials. What follows are excerpts of that conversation. SE: Today, the industry is working on a new range of complex architectures, such as 3D NAND and finFETs. For these technologies, the industry is clearly struggling... » read more

Fab Issues At 7nm And 5nm


The race toward the 7nm logic node officially kicked off in July, when IBM Research, GlobalFoundries and Samsung jointly rolled out what the companies claim are the industry’s first 7nm test chips with functional transistors. They're not alone, of course. Intel and TSMC also are racing separately to develop 7nm technology. And in the R&D labs, chipmakers also are working on technologies f... » read more

Dealing With Atoms


Chipmakers are ramping up a new range of device architectures, such as 3D NAND and finFETs. But to enable current and future devices, IC vendors will require new breakthroughs, including tools that can process tiny structures and films, even at the atomic level. The problem? There are gaps in terms of techniques that can process chips at the atomic level. Looking to help fill part of the ... » read more

Searching For 3D Metrology


In the previous decade, chipmakers made a bold but necessary decision to select the [getkc id="185" kc_name="finFET"] as the next transistor architecture for the IC industry. Over time, though, chipmakers discovered that the finFET would present some challenges in the fab. Deposition, etch and lithography were the obvious hurdles, but chipmakers also saw a big gap in metrology. In fact,... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: Oct. 22


Natural lithography For years, researchers have been exploring the development of nanosphere lithography or natural lithography. Nanosphere lithography makes use of directed self-assembly (DSA) techniques. The process begins with self-assembly of a nanosphere mask onto a substrate. This is followed by deposition of a material through the mask. The University of Paderborn has put a new twis... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: Sept. 24


LEGO AFM Students from the University College London (UCL), Tsinghua University and Peking University have built an atomic force microscope (AFM) or nanoscope using toy LEGOs. The AFM, dubbed LEGO2NANO, costs less than $500 to make. In contrast, traditional AFMs cost $100,000 or more. The system was made using LEGOs, Arduino controllers, 3D printed parts and consumer electronics. [captio... » read more

Waiting For 3D Metrology


By Mark LaPedus Over the years, suppliers of metrology equipment have managed to meet the requirements for conventional planar chips. But tool vendors now find themselves behind in the emerging 3D chip era, prompting the urgent need for a new class of 3D metrology gear. 3D is a catch-all phrase that includes a range of new architectures, such as finFET transistors, 3D NAND and stacked-die ... » read more