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May 3, 2012

Opaque Film Metrology

PULSE Technology™ provides the semiconductor industry's first production-worthy opaque film metrology systems. With the PULSE technique, an ultrafast flash of laser light generates a sound wave that passes through an opaque film stack. When the sound wave encounters a film interface, an echo returns to the surface. The time between sound induction and echo detection provides a direct measurement of film thickness. With its ability to rapidly measure thickness, density, and other film parameters of multilayer stacks non-destructively and without interference from underlying layers or levels, PULSE is ideal for on-product process control measurements.

Rudolph brought PULSE Technology to the semiconductor manufacturing floor with the MetaPULSE® opaque film metrology system in 1998. It is now used by all of the top ten semiconductor manufacturers and has been adopted by over 35 companies for inline monitoring of memory, ASIC, and logic manufacturing. The MetaPULSE-II™ is the second generation of PULSE Technology systems designed for the advanced copper applications. The newly-introduced MetaPULSE-III™ offers the latest advances in PULSE Technology on a versatile new platform that can lower cost of ownership by up to 40%. In addition, the platform can combine PULSE with other metrology technologies to characterize the wide range of processes that will be introduced at the 45 nm technology node and below.

PULSE Technology systems provide metrology solutions for many critical applications in semiconductor manufacturing including:

  • Aluminum Processes
  • Ti and Co Silicides
  • Ta/TaN and Advanced Cu Barriers
  • Cu Seed
  • Copper Electroplate
  • Dishing and Erosion
  • Post CMP Barrier or Copper Residue
  • Under Bump Metallization
  • Low-k Integration