AmberWave Systems, Salem, NH, and ADE Corp., Westwood, MA, are joining forces to qualify ADE’s line of inspection and metrology tools to measure strained silicon wafers. ADE products now qualified for metrology include the Film Inspection Tool for surface particle inspection, AcuMap high-speed film thickness mapping system, and UltraGage 9900 for wafer dimensional certification. Other ADE products waiting to be qualified include WaferSight, Advanced Flatness System, and the NanoMapper surface nanotopography tool.
“Our goal is to make it easy for device manufacturers and wafer manufacturers to find the quickest and lowest-risk path to implementing and achieving the benefits of strained silicon,” said AmberWave CEO Mitch Tyson.
Strained silicon transistors and circuits, which are currently being fabricated with 90nm- and 130nm-node processes, can increase circuit speed and reduce power consumption over bulk silicon circuits. Standard metrology doesn’t work with silicon wafers, however, due to complexities introduced by the use of a silicon germanium buffer that has different properties than normal silicon. SiGe and strained silicon remain promising technologies because they are compatible with CMOS and can utilize current production lines.