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1.5nm metrology tool targets advanced node

Posted: 10 Feb 2015     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:aBeam Technologies  Moore's Law  metrology  atomic layer deposition  nano-imprint 

Researchers at aBeam, LBNL and Argonne National Laboratory have developed a technology to fabricate test patterns with a minimum line width down to 1.5nm. The fabricated nanostructures appear to be random, but nevertheless enable nanometrological instruments to be characterised over their entire dynamic range resulting in the modulation transfer function, the most comprehensive characteristic of any chip.

"Metrology is critical to the semiconductor industry, because it provides feedback to the fabrication processes," noted Babin. "The modulation transfer function is widely used in optics, and has allowed optical systems to be perfected down to their diffraction limit. The absence of natural samples with known spatial frequencies was a common problem in nanometrology. Our fabrication technology closes this gap. Using the fabricated pseudo-random test patterns with nanometre-sized lines, nano-metrology systems can be accurately characterised."

The test patterns themselves use alternating lines of silicon and silicon-tungsten, in order to maximise contrast for the metrology system using them. Typical sample sizes are six-by-six microns, each with thousands of lines on them.

"Our next step is to apply the fabricated test patterns to a variety of metrological systems, such as scanning microscopes, atomic force microscopes, soft X-ray microscopes, as well as to develop an automatic, turn-key solution to characterise and tune the system," added Babin.

- R. Colin Johnson
  EE Times

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