For now, there is only one metrology method that can handle semiconductor production rates of over 100 wafers per hour: optical metrology. Metrology systems have struggled to keep up with the miniaturization of semiconductors to the 65 nm technology node and beyond. X-ray metrology is widely seen as the most likely successor of optical metrology for nodes smaller than 65 nm. But existing X-ray systems are not yet powerful enough for online metrology at those nodes.
Xenocs--working in association with Alcatel, CEA-Leti, Grenoble Institute of Technology, Nova, Philips, and Soitec--is developing a breakthrough system to generate high-brilliance X-ray beams for semiconductor metrology applications. The system will be designed to deliver excellent performance while remaining compact, stable, and reliable. It will be capable of projecting onto micrometer-sized samples a monochromatic beam up to 15 times brighter than those generated by existing systems. The system will house the process for creating the beam as well as a high-yield optical device to collect and precisely focus the beam. The project team will design the system to meet the demanding metrology needs of the semiconductor industry.