KLA Corp. has introduced an X-ray metrology system for inline process control during the manufacturing of advanced 3D NAND and DRAM semiconductors.
Advanced memory fabrication involves extremely tall structures with deep, narrow holes and trenches. These must be controlled at the nanoscale level.
Called Axion T2000, the semiconductor equipment helps discover the small shape anomalies that can impact memory chip performance. KLA said this helps ensure successful production of memory chips used in applications such as 5G, artificial intelligence, data centers and edge computing.
“Using transmissive X-ray technology, the Axion T2000 quickly generates a complete 3D visualization of high aspect ratio structures on the order of 100:1 or greater,” said Ahmad Khan, president of the semiconductor process control business unit at KLA. “From the top to the very bottom of these extreme vertical features, Axion data facilitates tight control of critical parameters, such as width, shape and tilt. Moreover, by measuring inline, the Axion reduces the cycle time required to solve critical yield and reliability issues during high volume production of memory chips."
How it works
The Axion T2000 is a critical-dimension small angle X-ray scattering system that produces high-resolution measurements of critical dimensions and 3D shapes of memory device features.
The X-rays transmit through the vertical memory structure regardless of how tall it is allowing for the measurement of complex device shapes. High dynamic range helps to obtain diffraction images at multiple angles to render 3D geometrical information.
Algorithms then facilitate measurement of many device parameters and extract subtle variations that can affect memory semiconductor’s functionality.