FREMONT, Calif.--Therma-Wave Inc. today announced the first critical dimension (CD) metrology tool that combines spectroscopic ellipsometry technology for high levels of optical measurement with real-time regression capability. The new system calculates and displays results in real time without off-line modeling and solution libraries, according to the company.
Therma-Wave said its new Opti-Probe RT/CD system was a "breakthrough" in real-time optical CD metrology compared to conventional critical-dimension scanning electron microscope (CD-SEM) systems. Fully featured complex CD profiles can be calculated in seconds with "superior precision and repeatability," said the Fremont company.
The system leverages Therma-Wave's Opti-Probe thin-film metrology platform for optical data acquisition. The non-destructive CD measurement technology is extendible to the 0.1-micron (100 nm) process technology node and below, according to Therma-Wave.
The company said spectroscopic ellipsometry (SE) optical measurements provide more information about sidewall profiles and shapes than is available from normal-incidence based techniques. The system uses proprietary regression software algorithms to determine detailed cross-section profiles and calculate CDs at select locations along with height, depth, sidewall angle and underlayer film thickness, Therma-Wave said. The work is done in real time without the need for simplified shape models.
"Our new real-time CD software solution provides customers with rapid time to result and highly detailed feedback for their process development and volume production requirements," said Martin Schwartz, president and CEO of Therma-Wave. "Added to our optical metrology expertise and the current library-based software, we can now offer customers the industry's most comprehensive OCD metrology suite and extend our strong leadership in the Optical CD metrology field," he added.
The company said the new real-time technology complements metrology systems from partner Timbre Technologies Inc., a division of Tokyo Electron Ltd. (TEL). The Opti-Probe RT/CD can be used a mixed environment with Timbre's ODP technology or in an integrated metrology environment, Therma-Wave said.