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Scanning Probe Microscopy Technology Company Receives Additional Funding

Nearfield Instruments (NFI) has announced the completion of a €12 million in equity funding, bringing the total amount raised this round at €48.5 million. The new investments were received from existing shareholders Eugene Investment & Securities, a Korean financial services firm, and Innovation Industries Fund, a Dutch independent venture capital fund.

Founded in 2016, Nearfield Instruments, a spin-off of TNO, has emerged as the key player for semiconductor metrology solutions. NFI has introduced revolutionary scanning probe microscopy technologies for in-line, non-destructive on-surface, and sub-surface metrology applications. Since its inception, NFI has developed and delivered its first on-surface metrology product, QUADRA, while growing to more than 100 employees, with offices in Rotterdam, Eindhoven, and Hwaesong, South Korea.

“This funding round is the validation of the significant progress we have achieved with QUADRA after shipment to the customer’s fab and the role our technology is set to have in new semiconductor device manufacturing. We are excited to be able to accelerate engagements with more customers, scaling up the organization, and bringing our second product line to the market, being non-destructive subsurface nano-scale metrology. I am extremely happy with the large and complementary contributions by our Korean & Dutch shareholders.”, comments Hamed Sadeghian, CEO of Nearfield Instruments.

In December 2020 Today Nearfield Instruments announced the first shipment of QUADRA, the first-generation High-Throughput Scanning Probe Metrology system for 5 nm nodes and beyond. The first QUADRA shipped to a non-disclosed customer and demonstrated successful multi-head operation, measuring dense structures with high aspect-ratios on advanced DRAM and Logic device wafers.

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).

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