Park Systems Partners with imec to Develop Nanoscale AFM Metrology Solutions for Semiconductor Manufacturing

SUWON, South Korea -- Park Systems signed a Joint Development Project (JDP) with nanoelectronics research center imec to develop in-line AFM metrology solutions of future technology nodes including but not limited to surface roughness, thickness, critical dimension (CD), and sidewall roughness. The JDP will develop new protocol to increase production yield and device performance for the semiconductor industry. Park Systems has officially joined imec's Industrial Affiliation Program and became a new member of IIAP at a signing ceremony inSeoul Korea on Feb 3, 2015.

"We are grateful for the opportunity to partner with imec in a Joint Development Project," comments Dr. Sang-il Park, CEO of Park Systems. "This partnership between Park and imec provides a crucial link of scientific collaboration throughout the chain of suppliers and vendors in semiconductor wafer production. Significant future technological advances will be made from this JDP for AFM-based inline nanoscale metrology."

The partnership will develop a broad range of AFM metrology solutions for process development, production, and failure analysis, including the most accurate surface roughness measurement with wafer mapping and incoming material monitoring. For thickness, accurate thickness value in pre- and post-processing will be delivered in order to complement the existing ellipsometry solution. More importantly, the partnership will explore a new frontier of high resolution 3D AFM metrology to address accurate CD, line width roughness (LWR), line edge roughness (LER) measurements, and sidewall roughness during etch, EPI, film deposition, and lithography processes.

The JDP between Park Systems and imec will develop new in-line monitoring and analysis methods for semiconductor manufacturers as well as new production protocol for better process development and control, which will result in improved device performance and production yield. For example, the high resolution sidewall information on vertical planar and cylindrical structure by Park's new 3D AFM will bring huge impact on the performance of vertical devices such as FinFET, TFET, STT-MRAM and others.

As the design rule of semiconductor device shrinks, the CD measurement and sidewall variation in LER/LWR measurements became important and directly correlated with the leakage, hence device performance. CD-SEM, TEM, and OCD have been used for the CD metrology, but each technique has its shortcomings such as resolution and e-beam damage for CD-SEM, sample preparation and sample damage for TEM, and time-consuming process development for OCD. Now, the AFM enabled hybrid metrology is on the rise as the next generation in-line monitoring and analysis method of non-destructive CD control. Park's new 3D AFM metrology will contribute the detailed sidewall and nanoscale surface information for the critical components in the yield control matrix. The collaboration between Park Systems and imec will create an information gathering platform from a multi disciplinary team of leading experts of scientists, engineers, and researchers to work together to create the next generation solutions in semiconductor metrology.

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