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15 December 2006


Metryx receives mass metrology production tool order from US GaAs manufacturer

Metryx Ltd of Bristol, UK says that a leading US-based GaAs volume manufacturer of surface acoustic wave (SAW) and bulk acoustic wave (BAW) devices for the communications industry has placed an order for its Mentor OC23 Mass Metrology system, for measuring both deposition and etch processes on product wafers in volume production.

The order highlights the broad range of applications where mass metrology can be implemented to monitor and characterize processes, says the company. Metryx’s technology can be used to monitor product wafers in volume production environments for dielectric and conducting materials in etch, deposition and chemical-mechanical planarization (CMP) process applications.

“Because the Mentor offers a non-interfering in-line approach and is not dependant on the substrate, it can be implemented across the full spectrum of manufacturing technologies,” says president and CEO Dr Adrian Kiermasz. “By allowing manufacturers to identify changes in process performance on a wafer-to-wafer basis, any potential issues can be quickly addressed.”

Capable of measuring in the microgram range (about one Angstrom of material thickness), the in-line Mentor OC23 monitors the mass change of any wafer following a process step, to quickly determine whether process steps are operating consistently and in the expected manner. The mass change response for the process step is managed like other statistical process control (SPC) parameters in the process flow.

Metryx says that the small-footprint Mentor OC23 is capable of throughputs of 60 wafers per hour to enable mass measurement of product, test and blanket wafers, independent of substrate size or material. In this configuration, dual open cassettes using wafers up to 200mm in diameter can be used. After measurements have been completed on one cassette, it can immediately start to measure the other cassette without waiting for operator intervention.