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Nanosheet FETs Drive Changes In Metrology And Inspection


In the Moore’s Law world, it has become a truism that smaller nodes lead to larger problems. As fabs turn to nanosheet transistors, it is becoming increasingly challenging to detect line-edge roughness and other defects due to the depths and opacities of these and other multi-layered structures. As a result, metrology is taking even more of a hybrid approach, with some well-known tools moving... » read more

E-beam’s Role Grows For Detecting IC Defects


The perpetual march toward smaller features, coupled with growing demand for better reliability over longer chip lifetimes, has elevated inspection from a relatively obscure but necessary technology into one of the most critical tools in fab and packaging houses. For years, inspection had been framed as a battle between e-beam and optical microscopy. Increasingly, though, other types of insp... » read more

Novel E-Beam Techniques For Inspection And Monitoring


In this paper, we report an advanced e-beam defect inspection tool (eProbe®250) and the Design-for-Inspection™ (DFI) system that has been built and deployed by PDF Solutions down to 4nm FinFET technology nodes. This tool has a very high throughput which allows for in-line inspection of nanometer-level defects in the most advanced technology nodes. We also present eProbe applications for... » read more

Mask And Metrology Technology Trends


Aselta Nanographics of Grenoble, France, which produces software for wafer and mask patterning based on e-beam technology for IC manufacturing, along with advanced metrology solutions for scanning electron microscopes, recently became an ESD Alliance member. Adding to its impressive credentials, Aselta is a spin-off of CEA-Leti, the electronics and information technologies research institut... » read more

Auto Chipmakers Dig Down To 10ppb


How do engineers deliver 10 defective parts per billion (Dppb) to auto makers if they only screen 1 million parts per year? Answer: By comprehending failure mechanisms and proactively screening for them. Modern automobiles contain nearly 1,000 ICs that must perform over the vehicle’s life (15 years). This drives quality expectations ever higher. While 10 Dppm used to be a solid benchmark, ... » read more

Pushing the limits of EUV mask repair: addressing sub-10 nm defects with the next generation e-beam-based mask repair tool


Abstract "Mask repair is an essential step in the manufacturing process of extreme ultraviolet (EUV) masks. Its key challenge is to continuously improve resolution and control to enable the repair of the ever-shrinking feature sizes on mask along the EUV roadmap. The state-of-the-art mask repair method is gas-assisted electron-beam (e-beam) lithography also referred to as focused electron-beam... » read more

Gearing Up For High-NA EUV


The semiconductor industry is moving full speed ahead to develop high-NA EUV, but bringing up this next generation lithography system and the associated infrastructure remains a monumental and expensive task. ASML has been developing its high-numerical aperture (high-NA) EUV lithography line for some time. Basically, high-NA EUV scanners are the follow-on to today’s EUV lithography systems... » read more

Optimizing VSB Shot Count For Curvilinear Masks


The increased photomask write time using a variable-shape e-beam (VSB) writer has been a barrier to the adoption of inverse lithography technology (ILT) beyond the limited usage for hot spots. The second installment of this video blog looked at the challenge in depth. In this five-minute panel video with industry luminaries, Ezequiel Russell describes the collaborative study between his company... » read more

Monitoring Chips On Many Levels


Monitoring is an important trend for optimizing yield, performance, and uptime in systems that use complex integrated circuits, but not all monitoring is the same. In fact, there are multiple levels of monitors. In many cases, they can be used together to help solve problems when something is amiss. They also can be used to help identify who in the supply chain owns the fix. “If the sys... » read more

Challenges Linger For EUV


Semiconductor Engineering sat down to discuss lithography and photomask issues with Bryan Kasprowicz, director of technology and strategy and a distinguished member of the technical staff at Photronics; Harry Levinson, principal at HJL Lithography; Noriaki Nakayamada, senior technologist at NuFlare; and Aki Fujimura, chief executive of D2S. What follows are excerpts of that conversation. To vie... » read more

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