Advanced semiconductor processes have reached the 7 nm technology node and below; however, existing thin film thickness and critical dimension inspection technologies are reaching the detection limit. ITRI is developing X-ray metrology technologies that offer high resolution at sub-nanometer scale. One such technology is long-wavelength X-ray reflectivity, which can measure thin films of up to 1 nm thickness in micro areas (~50 μm x 50 μm). Another is transmission small-angle X-ray scattering technology with a signal enhancement module; this can in-line measure the critical dimensions in 7 nm, 5 nm, and 3 nm technology node processes.
Killer particle size and particle number concentration in semiconductor processes have decreased to 20 nm and 103 particles/mL, respectively. Current measurement technology can be inaccurate for nanoparticles existing in solution. ITRI has developed a sample introduction system and signal enhancement modules, allied with the trace metal analytical technique of single particle inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (spICP-MS), to break through the measurement technology gap.
Applications & Benefits
This technology offers a lower size detection limit of 4 nm and particle number concentration of 40/mL, which can satisfy the measurement needs of the semiconductor industry for next-generation manufacturing.