New MEMS White Paper

Download the latest Logitech white paper and learn more about MEMS processing technology and techniques

Download our CMP White Paper

FREE subscription
Subscribe for free to receive each issue of Semiconductor Today magazine and weekly news brief.



















16 March 2007


SEMATECH to use Bede x-ray system to evaluate high-k, metal gate, and SiGe materials

The global semiconductor research consortium SEMATECH, based in Austin, TX, USA, is to use an x-ray metrology system made by Bede X-ray Metrology of Durham, UK to evaluate novel front-end materials needed for the 45 and 32nm CMOS silicon technology nodes and beyond, specifically the phase and degree of crystallinity present in high-k dielectrics and metal gate electrodes, and the strain in SiGe films.  

"Our evidence shows that the phase and crystallinity in high-k material have an impact on a device's electrical characteristics,” says Dr Alain Diebold, a senior fellow at SEMATECH. “Using XRD [x-ray diffraction] allows us to fine-tune the process, and speed up high-k development.” In late January, SEMATECH members Intel and IBM (the latter working with development partners AMD, Sony and Toshiba) both announced separately that they had developed 45nm-generation transistors that use metal gate electrodes and a high-k gate oxide layer (a hafnium-based oxide deposited by atomic layer deposition, in the case of Intel). XRD is also a leading technique for measuring strain and composition in SiGe, Diebold adds.

* Last November, Bede shipped a BedeMetrix-F process control system with ScribeView (small spot optics technology) - designed for in-line high-volume manufacturing - to a “leading US semiconductor manufacturing consortium”. The system is being used to control strain and relaxation in SiGe on product wafer metrology pads for their 45nm process.

Previously, last August, Bede announced that it was collaborating with Belgian research institute IMEC, which is using a BedeMetrix-L R&D system with Microsource and ScribeView optics in its 300mm research facility to investigate the use of x-ray metrology for process control of new semiconductor materials, including strained silicon, for the 45nm node and below.

See related item:

Bede ships system for controlling strain and relaxation in SiGe to US manufacturing consortium