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

Manufacturing Bits: Dec. 28


Measuring microdroplets The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has found a new way for microscopes to measure the volumes of microdroplets. Using this technique, NIST has measured the volume of individual droplets smaller than 100 trillionths of a liter with an uncertainty of less than 1%. That represents a tenfold improvement compared to previous measurements, according ... » read more

Semiconductor nanochannels in metallic carbon nanotubes by thermomechanical chirality alteration


Abstract: "Carbon nanotubes have a helical structure wherein the chirality determines whether they are metallic or semiconducting. Using in situ transmission electron microscopy, we applied heating and mechanical strain to alter the local chirality and thereby control the electronic properties of individual single-wall carbon nanotubes. A transition trend toward a larger chiral angle region wa... » read more

Finding Defects With E-Beam Inspection


Several companies are developing or shipping next-generation e-beam inspection systems in an effort to reduce defects in advanced logic and memory chips. Vendors are taking two approaches with these new e-beam inspection systems. One is a more traditional approach, which uses a single-beam e-beam system. Others, meanwhile, are developing newer multi-beam technology. Both approaches have thei... » 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

Metrology Challenges For Gate-All-Around


Metrology is proving to be a major challenge for those foundries working on processes for gate-all-around FETs at 3nm and beyond. Metrology is the art of measuring and characterizing structures in devices. Measuring and characterizing structures in devices has become more difficult and expensive at each new node, and the introduction of new types of transistors is making this even harder. Ev... » read more

New Imaging Tech Finds Buried Defects


By Shinsuke Mizuno and Vadim Kuchik Defects and contamination on the wafer can slow process development times and limit performance and yield. As chips get more complex, more defects can become buried within the increasing number of layers in the design. Finding and analyzing these buried defects is a major challenge for the industry, especially during the early learning cycles of new manufa... » read more

3D NAND Metrology Challenges Growing


3D NAND vendors face several challenges to scale their devices to the next level, but one manufacturing technology stands out as much more difficult at each turn—metrology. Metrology, the art of measuring and characterizing structures, is used to pinpoint problems and ensure yields for all chip types. In the case of 3D NAND, the metrology tools are becoming more expensive at each iteration... » read more

FinFET Metrology Challenges Grow


Chipmakers face a multitude of challenges in the fab at 10nm/7nm and beyond, but one technology that is typically under the radar is becoming especially difficult—metrology. Metrology, the art of measuring and characterizing structures, is used to pinpoint problems in devices and processes. It helps to ensure yields in both the lab and fab. At 28nm and above, metrology is a straightforward... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: April 19


Hot videos The University of Minnesota has recorded videos that show how heat travels through materials, a move that could give researchers insight into the behavior of atoms and other structures. It could also pave the way towards the development of more efficient materials for use in electronics and other applications. In the lab, researchers used FEI’s transmission electron microsc... » read more

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