Jul 13, 2001
TOKYO, JAPAN, JULY 13, 2001 -As requirements for APC capabilities on process tools increase, Tokyo Electron Limited (TEL; Head Office: Minato-ku, Tokyo; C.E.O., President: Tetsuro Higashi) is working to develop both integrated, advanced machine control capabilities and integrated metrology capabilities to meet these requirements.
By acquiring Timbre Technologies, Inc. in February 2001, TEL is empowering the integrated metrology area for next generation devices, 100nm and below. TEL's Clean Track and Etch Systems Business Units have started evaluation and integration work with Timbre and are planning to release advanced metrology capabilities on their tools in the middle of 2002.
Timbre's Optical Digital Profiling (ODP) technology enables the practical integration of metrology capability of CD, film thickness and cross section profile to process tools. It does not require vacuum, or a special light source, or very large hardware, but instead is optimized to use a compact scatterometry hardware module with Timbre software.
ODP technology is recognized as the leader in this break-through metrology approach and, predictably, a number of competitor catch-up efforts have recently surfaced. Some of ODP successes include; full STI profiling, including notch detection and measurement, precise undercut measurement for two-step etched gate processes, accurate Damascene trench etch profiling, correlation of underlying film stack profiles to electrical performance, accurate post-etch / pre-clean gate and isolation metrology, and over seven-layer stacks with the profiling of graded and undercut films.
ODP is unique in that it does not shy away from the heavy mathematical load of broadband and low wavelength scattered light, but instead welcomes the extra data found there. "Timbre is now relied on in production for new, critical metrology. Because of the high information content of this approach, our customers have avoided Type I (alpha) and Type II (beta) statistical errors in defect management. This is especially true when compared to the over-simplified, assumption-loaded, deviation-only approaches. These de-tuned approaches miss many critical profile features and dimensions and are prone to report 'false defects', sometimes unnecessarily shutting down well functioning process tools." states Dr. Wenge Yang, Director of Product Marketing, Timbre Technologies, Inc.
These capabilities are field proven and TEL will be integrating them into their process tools. Furthermore, Timbre will introduce this month its second-generation search engine, the PAS-T2 (Profile Application Server-T2), which is faster and more powerful, allowing more further resolved profiles to be processed.
The combination of TEL's advanced process technology and ODP profile control has saved many wafers and tightened IC process variations. The pairing of TEL and Timbre offers a rapid ramp to Integrated Metrology.