3D Metrology Meets Its Match In 3D Chips And Packages


The pace of innovation in 3D device structures and packages is accelerating rapidly, driving the need for precise measurement and control of feature height to ensure these devices are reliable and perform as expected throughout their lifetimes. Expansion along the z axis is already well underway. One need look no further than the staircase-like 3D NAND stacks that rise like skyscrapers to p... » read more

Pressure Builds On Failure Analysis Labs


Failure analysis labs are becoming more fab-like, offering higher accuracy in locating failures and accelerating time-to-market of new devices. These labs historically have been used for deconstructing devices that failed during field use, known as return material authorizations (RMAs), but their role is expanding. They now are becoming instrumental in achieving first silicon and ramping yie... » read more

Directed Self-Assembly Finds Its Footing


Ten years ago, when the industry was struggling to deliver EUV lithography, directed self-assembly (DSA) roared to the forefront of research and development for virtually every manufacturer determined to extend the limits of 193i. It was the hot topic at of the 2012 SPIE Advanced Lithography Conference, with one attendee from Applied Materials comparing its potential to disrupt the industry to ... » read more

Challenges Grow For CD-SEMs At 5nm And Beyond


CD-SEM, the workhorse metrology tool used by fabs for process control, is facing big challenges at 5nm and below. Traditionally, CD-SEM imaging has relied on a limited number of image frames for averaging, which is necessary both to maintain throughput speeds and to minimize sample damage from the electron beam itself. As dimensions get smaller, these limitations result in higher levels of n... » read more

Metrology Options Increase As Device Needs Shift


Semiconductor fabs are taking an ‘all hands on deck’ approach to solving tough metrology and yield management challenges, combining tools, processes, and other technologies as the chip industry transitions to nanosheet transistors on the front end and heterogenous integration on the back end. Optical and e-beam tools are being extended, while X-ray inspection is being added on a case-by-... » read more

Metrology Of Thin Resist For High NA EUVL


One of the many constrains of high numerical aperture extreme ultraviolet lithography (High NA EUVL) is related to resist thickness. In fact, one of the consequences of moving from current 0.33NA to 0.55NA (high NA) is the depth of focus (DOF) reduction. In addition, as the resist feature lines shrink down to 8nm half pitch, it is essential to limit the aspect ratio to avoid pattern collapse. T... » read more

Angstrom-Level Measurements With AFMs


Competition is heating up in the atomic force microscopy (AFM) market, where several vendors are shipping new AFM systems that address various metrology challenges in packaging, semiconductors and other fields. AFM, a small but growing field that has been under the radar, involves a standalone system that provides surface measurements on structures down to the angstrom level. (1 angstrom = 0... » read more

Finding, Predicting EUV Stochastic Defects


Several vendors are rolling out next-generation inspection systems and software that locates problematic defects in chips caused by processes in extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography. Each defect detection technology involves various tradeoffs. But it’s imperative to use one or more of them in the fab. Ultimately, these so-called stochastic-induced defects caused by EUV can impact the perf... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: Nov. 9


Open-source EUV resist metrology Paul Scherrer Institute (PSI) has developed an open-source software technology for scanning electron microscopy (SEM) applications. The technology is targeted for EUV resist metrology. The technology, called SMILE (SEM-Measured Image Lines Estimator), is an open source software technology, which characterizes line and space patterns in a SEM. SMILE is used t... » read more

Speeding Up The R&D Metrology Process


Several chipmakers are making some major changes in the characterization/metrology lab, adding more fab-like processes in this group to help speed up chip development times. The characterization/metrology lab, which is generally under the radar, is a group that works with the R&D organization and the fab. The characterization lab is involved in the early analytical work for next-generati... » read more

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