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19 June 2019

Riber licenses LAAS-CNRS’ reflective surface defect and curvature measurement technology

Riber S.A. of Bezons, France – which manufactures molecular beam epitaxy (MBE) systems as well as evaporation sources and effusion cells – has signed an operational licensing agreement with Toulouse Tech Transfer (TTT, a regional operator for creating value and transferring technology from public research to businesses in France’s Occitanie region) for the exclusive marketing of a reflective surface defect and curvature measurement technology, developed by the Laboratory for Analysis and Architecture of Systems (LAAS-CNRS), one of the largest in-house units of the French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS).

Dedicated high-precision metrology technology for semiconductor manufacturing

Research engineer Alexandre Arnoult and post-doctoral researcher Jonathan Colin of LAAS-CNRS have developed an optical device that is easy to implement and helps to improve control over operations to deposit thin films. The device can be used in any type of environment.

This makes is possible to measure curvature and defects on all types of surfaces in real time and over significant production times. For example, it helps to avoid dislocations, produce perfectly even wafers or control deposit consistency. The device will also be equipped with machine learning algorithms that will be specially developed to optimize analysis and control for the materials growth process.

EZ-Curve: new technological component for Riber’s strategic development

The know-how based on this research - marketed under the new EZ-Curve brand - will enable Riber to extend its range of solutions and services, providing research laboratories and semiconductor manufacturers with added value in line with their needs, the firm says.

For industrial users, ensuring the traceability and reliability of their measurements is key to effectively managing their manufacturing processes and guarantee product quality and performance, Riber adds. For researchers, analyzing and understanding materials growth-related behavior makes it possible to expand fundamental knowledge.

In addition to controlling the epitaxial growth process with high-precision 3D reflectance metrics, EZ-Curve also offers wider possibilities by supporting the implementation of automated advanced control processes and, over the longer term, the development of smart MBE systems.

“EZ-Curve is a significant technological innovation compared with the measurement instruments currently available on the market,” reckons Riber’s CEO Philippe Ley. “Our ambition is to provide our clients with the very precise levers needed to considerably improve their processes and the results of their developments, whether they are academic or industrial,” he adds. “This new technological component and its industrialization will make it possible to further strengthen MBE performance capabilities”.

The new device is said to offer a range of benefits: being non-invasive, cost-effective, portable, lightweight, easy to install and use, EZ-Curve is adapted for in-situ epitaxial process analysis.

“Monitoring a wafer’s deformations during the vacuum growth or processing of a thin film represents an unrivalled source of information on the atomistic processes involved, and quality control for industrial processes,” says Arnoult. “Until now, this monitoring was reserved for specialists using tools that were complex to master,” he adds. “Our new technology successfully makes it possible to achieve this combination of increased sensitivity with outstanding robustness and simple implementation, which enables [the user] to deploy it across a large number of advanced and/or production systems. For example, we can now continuously monitor molecular beam epitaxy growth for complex semiconductor structures with low constraints, opening up possibilities for in-situ feedback control during processes, and therefore optimization and automation of processes.”

Following maturation and market release phases, Riber, LAAS-CNRS and TTT intend to continue sharing their knowledge in order to support the product’s development worldwide.

Tags: Riber MBE

Visit: www.riber.com

Visit: www.laas.fr

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