18 July 2010


Metryx sees growth potential in new MEMS, LED and 3D IC application

Metrology equipment maker Metryx Ltd of Bristol, UK says that over the past six months it has seen a sharp recovery in business, including receiving multiple orders for Mentor mass metrology systems worldwide (both new and repeat business) representing customers expanding the use of Metryx’s mass metrology systems in their production lines as well as initial implementations in new applications.

“Recent business successes clearly demonstrate that Metryx is emerging from the global recession in a strong position,” says president & CEO Dr Adrian Kiermasz. “We are now seeing established customers starting to invest in additional capacity, with new and potential customers willing to drive their internal capital justification process based on our tools’ demonstrated strong return on investment,” he adds. 

The Mentor can measure any mass change resulting from a process change, with atomic level accuracy suiting both material characterization and device manufacture process control. The tool monitors the mass of any wafer following a process step to determine — using passive data collection (PDC) and normal distribution analysis — whether it is operating consistently. The ability to quickly and accurately identify any process drift allows the process to be corrected or stopped immediately, saving scrap or preventing yield loss.

Together with a number of customers focused on 300mm front-end of line (FEOL) and back-end of line (BEOL) metallization due to the Mentor’s ability to measure thin metals and stacked layers, Metryx says that the tool is also seeing strong interest from emerging markets such as micro-electrical mechanical systems (MEMS), solar, LEDs and 3D interconnect (IC), including through-silicon via (TSV) and wafer bonding applications. In 3D IC, additional processing steps are being added, but with a focus on keeping their cost low, so Mentor's multiple process capability and strong return on investment (ROI) serves this growing market well, claims the firm.

Other recent activities include implementing mass metrology across process steps in bulk acoustic wave (BAW) device manufacturing. Metryx says that BAW manufacturers can benefit directly from mass metrology because density is an important parameter, and knowledge of the material density shortens the cycle between device design and manufacture.

Metryx’s DF3 Mentor offers a 300mm configuration that allows maximum benefit from the 60wph (wafer per hour) throughput, providing higher measurement coverage and less risk for a given process. The firm says that the open-cassette OC23 tool is also gaining traction in emerging markets due to its ability to accommodate multiple wafer sizes and thus more potential applications to maximize ROI without compromising measurement capability.

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