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Liquid-metal jet X-ray source for high performance non-destructive testing

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - MetalJet (Liquid-metal jet X-ray source for high performance non-destructive testing)

Reporting period: 2017-06-01 to 2017-09-30

The demand for ever faster, smaller and more efficient electronic devices is propelling the development in IC manufacturing. The IC production consequently becomes more and more complex due to the combined effects of the smaller device dimensions (reduced process margins), the more complex device architectures (FinFETs, lateral and vertical nanowires, gate all-around, VNAND etc) and the novel materials used (group IV stressors, III-V compound materials, MX2 materials). A serious challenge of the nanoelectronics industry is to achieve yield levels that can economically sustain High Volume Manufacturing (HVM). To be able to detect and understand the yield loss mechanisms, innovative and highly productive metrology, inspection and review tools, methods and solutions are needed for accelerated process and device development, yield ramp, as well as for in-line process monitoring in the FAB, and these tools, methods and solutions.

Critical Dimension (CD) Metrology has for many years relied on tools based on optical techniques. But as optical tools are running out of steam there is an urgent need for other solutions in order handle the metrology demands for 5nm nodes and below. Various X-ray methods has been proposed such as HRXRD, µXRF and CD-SAXS, but all share one fundamental problem that the X-ray source is too weak to enable sustainable throughput or precision for HVM.

The conclusion is that the novel MetalJet technology developed and commercialised by Excillum could play a key role to improve X-ray metrology tool throughput thereby enabling this metrology technology.
Excillum has performed a feasibility study to evaluate the business potential of Liquid-Metal-Jet sources for metrology applications in IC manufacturing. In the study we have attended a number of key events arranged by industry or research organisations. In addition, key customer/stakeholders have been visited to acquire market information, business potential and willingness to pay information. On the technology side, internal and external experiments and simulation activities have been performed to evaluate the technical feasibility.
The MetalJet X-ray source technology is, unlike more traditional X-ray sources, based on a scalable technique which enables the source performance to be significantly improved. In the course of the project Excillum aim to exploit the full potential and enable MetalJet based X-ray Metrology in SEMI HVM. For Excillum this will be a key enabler in the buildup of a new Swedish/European high tech. industrial company.
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