EU-backed metrology R&D group expands

April 7, 2006 – The “Metrology Using X-Ray Technology” (MUXT) consortium, a project funded by the European Commission and carried out by Crolles2 partners ST Microelectronics, Philips Semiconductors, and CEA-LETI to evaluate and assess prototype equipment for next-generation semiconductor technologies, has added Jordan Valley Semiconductors Inc. to its roster. The project is working to develop a 300mm x-ray metrology platform for monitoring backend-of-line (BEOL) copper/low-k processes.

Phase 1 of the project involves evaluating second-generation x-ray reflectivity (XRR) and small-angle x-ray scattering (SAXS) technology for 65nm and 45nm manufacturing. Small-angle x-ray scattering is capable of measuring pore sizes below 10Angstroms; the project will focus on improving the technology for high scatter samples, and improve XRR performance with ultrathin films (<30Angstroms).

Phase II of the project will evaluate fast wide-angle micro-XRD (WAXRD) to monitor phase growth of Ta, TaN, and Cu grains to confirm that deposition processes meet 65nm- and-beyond manufacturing requirements. Teams will examine the crystallographic properties of the crystalline layers (allotropic form, texture, and grain size), in order to achieve fast measurement, microspot, and automated processing. WAXRD is seen as becoming either a standalone metrology tool or integrated with the XRR and SAXS channels for Cu process ramp-up and control.

“Our first partnership with the SEA, to bring our XRR/XRF technology to market, was extremely valuable,” commented Sean Jameson, Jordan Valley VP. “They really helped to validate our current technologies on a broad range of applications. Similarly, we look to the MUXT project to qualify our recent developments in SAXS and our future developments in low-res XRD.”


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