August 25, 2006 – Bede X-ray Metrology and European research consortium IMEC have entered into a collaboration to investigate the use of X-ray metrology for process control and characterization of new semiconductor materials used at the 45nm node and below.
Under the agreement, Bede’s X-ray metrology system will be installed at IMEC’s 300mm research facility, to measure critical process control parameters needed in the use of advanced semiconductor materials for device fabrication, according to Luc Van den hove, IMEC’s VP of silicon process and device technology. Specifically, IMEC will be using the BedeMetrix-L, which uses a combination of high-resolution X-ray diffraction, X-ray diffraction, and X-ray reflectivity techniques, targeting front- and backend process control applications including strained silicon, high-k gate dielectrics, metal gates, barrier metals, interconnects, and porous low-k ILD. The system’s optics capabilities enable measurement of strain silicon parameters in scribe lines and metrology pads used in 45nm processing, according to the company.
For Bede, the collaboration “will enable us to benefit from [IMEC’s] expertise in the latest process technologies and advanced materials,” enabling both companies to jointly “offer solutions for the various IMEC partners on critical process control,” stated Frank Hochstenbach, director of sales and marketing, and responsible for customer partnerships.