Consumer demand for increased speed, power and integration in computing and electronic devices drives semiconductor manufacturers to scale the size of transistors in integrated circuits smaller and smaller in order to pack more performance onto a single chip. The drive to make chip features continuously smaller has made metrology for the transistor manufacturing process increasingly important to manufacturers. Further, the drive for enhanced performance has resulted in a new focus on the engineering of electronic and material properties as size scaling runs into its physical limits. In the past decade, a host of new manufacturing processes have been introduced in order to change material (and hence electronic) properties. As a result, there is now a critical and unmet need for rapid, precise and non-destructive metrology technologies to characterize material properties. PMR provides the means to measure and control these properties within a shrinking process window, resulting in maximum yield. Xitronix is the first to offer a true, in-line system that meets the criteria for process control of nanostructure electronic properties.
The Xitronix XP700 sytem uses two laser beams, one pump beam and one probe beam, which are focused onto the semiconductor sample. The pump laser modulates the electronic charge, and hence the electric field, within the sample. The change in electric field causes a change in reflectivity in the sample, occurring at specific wavelengths, through a physical phenomenon known as the Franz-Keldysh effect. The samples’ reflectivity change is measured using the second probe laser beam. The change in reflectivity is extremely sensitive to electronic properties and thus may be used to monitor and control electronic properties during semiconductor device manufacturing. Xitronix uses its non-destructive optical technique to rapidly and precisely characterize the material properties of semiconductor nanostructures and is uniquely suited to address this need now and into the foreseeable future.
Competing technologies such as Raman spectroscopy, x-ray diffraction (XRD), and four-point probe (4PP) cannot provide this capability. For example, XRD is slow, has a large spot size, has no sensitivity to active electronic properties and results in complex data. Likewise, 4PP is a contact technique and is insensitive to near-surface properties. In contrast, the optical PMR technique is non-contact, rapid, has a small spot size, and has excellent sensitivity to near-surface the electronic properties. Even Raman spectroscopy, which has received extensive attention from IC manufacturers, has never been adopted for process control. Raman spectroscopy also has no sensitivity to active electronic properties and often gives spurious results due to unaccounted for ionic bonds. Xitronix’ PMR solution avoids all these drawbacks by using a proven optical technique to attain direct sensitivity to semiconductor bandstructure (and hence electrical performance). Further, PMR provides an output signal which directly correlates to the desired physical properties. Xitronix' PMR technology is the process control solution for the advanced semiconductor manufacturing now and into the future.
The Xitronix XP700 System fully supports industry automation requirements and meets SEMI standards.