First Shipment – High-Throughput Scanning Probe Metrology System

Nearfield Instruments B.V. has announced the first shipment of QUADRA, the first-generation High-Throughput Scanning Probe Metrology system for 5 nm nodes and beyond. The first QUADRA has shipped to a non-disclosed customer and it demonstrated successful multi-head operation, measuring dense structures with high aspect-ratios on advanced DRAM and Logic device wafers.

QUADRA, the first product of NFI, is a High-Throughput Scanning Probe Metrology system (HT-SPM) that enables an entirely new approach to in-line 3D process control metrology. QUADRA provides unique, Ångstrom level precise and non-destructive high aspect-ratio 3D metrology on even the most challenging critical layers, such as Gate and FinFET structures.

QUADRA’s unique architecture features parallel independent multi-head operation and the ability to position and align extremely fast and accurate. This gives QUADRA a 100-fold throughput advantage over other automated single-probe AFM metrology tools targeted for in-line metrology applications. QUADRA’s high sampling rate enables customers to perform in-line process monitoring and determine lot-to-lot, wafer-to-wafer, and intra-wafer process variations.

QUADRA also includes a new unique imaging mode called Feed-Forward Trajectory Planner (FFTP). These allow QUADRA to perform on-device, non-destructive measurements on dense structures with high aspect-ratios for both memory (1z and beyond) and logic devices (3 nm and beyond).

Nearfield Instruments plans to increase the number of scanning heads and expand its 3D imaging capabilities for future product generations to stay aligned with chipmakers’ ever evolving product roadmap requirements.

Hamed Sadeghian, President and Chief Technology Officer of Nearfield Instruments comments: “As critical dimensions continue to shrink with each new technology node and become more 3D in shape, the relative importance of metrology increases. This is in an environment where billions of these devices are required in each chip, and all of them must work to a tight specification. Our new 3D metrology system QUADRA can solve some of the key metrology challenges, especially for narrow trenches with high aspect-ratios and measure these at the throughput that production environments require. In that sense, QUADRA marks a paradigm shift in the use of AFM. I am pleased that after many years of development, QUADRA is now coming of age and has been shipped to a major Semiconductor Fab.”

Nearfield Instruments B.V. (NFI), was founded in January 2016. NFI is a semiconductor metrology equipment company developing and delivering ground-breaking process control metrology solutions for the worldwide advanced semiconductor IC manufacturing industry.

For more information: www.nearfieldinstruments.com


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