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New Package Significantly Improves Optical CD Measurement Quality

Published on June 30, 2009 at 10:01 AM

Nova Measuring Instruments Ltd. (NASDAQ: NVMI) provider of leading edge stand-alone metrology and the market leader of integrated metrology solutions to the semiconductor process control market, today announced the launching of MatMaker(TM), a Product-Driven Materials Characterization package which revolutionizes one of the most critical elements of Optical CD measurement. Last week the Company announced all time record orders for its stand-alone Optical CD product and the addition of the MatMaker(TM) Package is intended to further solidify the Company's position in the market.

Spectral Optical CD technologies need material optical properties (spectral n&k) to interpret the optical spectrum into a profile measurement. Until today the industry standard was to measure material properties on blanket wafers, layer by layer, a process that takes from days to more than a month, well in advance of actual Scatterometry application development. In addition to the obvious drawbacks of significant plan-ahead and time investment, this method could not account for material changes that occur during wafer processing, changes that affect material properties and the accuracy of the final measurement.

Nova's novel technology eliminates this step-by-step method. It capitalizes on proprietary breakthrough algorithms for enhancing the sensitivity of Scatterometry measurements, directly utilizing Scatterometry targets on the product wafer to determine the optical properties of the various constituent materials together with the geometrical profile parameters. Multiple film depositions on blanket wafers are no longer needed as a prerequisite for Scatterometry applications development, and any and all process-induced changes to materials optical properties can now be uniquely and accurately captured inside the Scatterometry model.

"At advanced technology nodes we see a rapid increase in Optical CD deployment and CD-SEM replacement" said Gabi Seligsohn, President and CEO of Nova. "This new technology, based on software algorithms and tools refined by our applications developers for the past 10 years, changes the way spectral Optical CD is deployed in fabs, significantly reducing application development time and cost while at the same time increasing the measurement accuracy. I see our new technology as a driver to further proliferation of Nova's Optical CD solutions not only to existing users of Optical CD but also to areas deploying other types of metrology".

The MatMaker(TM) Package is available as an option to the latest version of NovaMARS Applications Development Software.

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