Semiconductor production equipment vendor Applied Materials Inc. Monday (Feb. 23) launched a 3D critical dimension (CD) scanning electron microscope (SEM) metrology tool specially designed for measuring the high aspect ratio and complex features of 3D NAND and FinFET devices.
Applied (Santa Clara, Calif.) said its Applied VeritySEM 5i system features high-resolution imaging and backscattered electron technology that enable high CD control in-line. The fab tool vendor maintains that using the VeritySEM 5i system can speed up chipmakers` process development and production ramp while improving device performance and yield in high-volume production.
"Complex 3D structures require new measurement dimensions, increasing the demands placed on metrology technologies," said Itai Rosenfeld, vice president and general manager of Applied`s Process Diagnostics and Control group, in a statement.
Rosenfeld said continuing to rely on traditional CD SEM techniques to measure 3D devices is “virtually impossible.” Applied’s advanced e-bream technology allows customers to see, measure and control their 3D device during R&D, ramp and volume production, he added. Multiple customers are already using the tool in production, Rosenfeld said.
Backscattered electron imaging for via-in-trench bottom CD enables chipmakers to ensure connectivity between underlying and overlaying metal layers, Applied said. The VeritySEM 5i tool`s tilt-beam also provides exact, repeatable in-line measurements for controlling FinFET sidewall, as well as gate and fin height, the company said.
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