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30 August 2006


IMEC and Bede investigate new semiconductor materials at the 45nm technology node and below

Bede X-ray Metrology has entered into a collaboration with IMEC, Belgium to investigate the use of X-ray metrology in the process control of new semiconductor materials used at the 45nm technology node and below. As part of the collaboration, Bede’s BedeMetrix-L with Microsource and ScribeView optics X-ray metrology system for new semiconductor materials characterization will be installed at IMEC’s 300mm research facility.

BedeMetrix-L uses a combination of High Resolution X-ray Diffraction (HRXRD), X-ray Diffraction (XRD) and X-ray Reflectivity (XRR) techniques on a single platform for a wide range of front and back end process control applications including strained silicon, high-k gate dielectrics, metal gates, barrier metals, interconnects and porous low-k ILD. The Microsource with ScribeView optics enables measurements of strain silicon parameters in scribe lines and metrology pads used in the latest 45nm process.

Luc Van den hove, VP of Silicon Process and Device Technology of IMEC, said: "X-ray metrology is an important technology for controlling semiconductor processes as the technology nodes shrink, especially at 45nm and below. Unlike other types of metrology, X-rays provide the structural information essential to control new material processes while improving yield.”

Frank Hochstenbach, Bede’s director of sales and marketing, said: “We are delighted that IMEC have selected the BedeMetrix™-L, and that we are collaborating with one of the leading R&D centers in the world. It will enable us to benefit from their expertise in the latest process technologies and advanced materials. Jointly we will be able to offer solutions for the various IMEC partners on critical process control. I am sure that both Bede and IMEC will find this collaboration of great benefit in the better understanding of new materials and their impact on the semiconductor devices of the future.”

Visit: http://www.bede.co.uk