October 7, 2004 - KLA-Tencor Corp., San Jose, CA, and Belgium-based research center IMEC have begun a joint development project to accelerate adoption of optical critical-dimension (CD) metrology technology for sub-65nm semiconductor applications.
The project will focus on two areas: extending the use of optical CD metrology in current applications such as shallow-trench isolation and gate to the sub-65-nm node, and expanding the proliferation of optical CD metrology into new applications such as 3D contact and via layers. Research will be conducted using KLA-Tencor's SpectraCD 100 system for optical CD metrology.
"Maintaining control over the lithography process continues to remain one of the most pressing challenges that chipmakers face as they drive deeper into the nano realm," stated IMEC VP Luc Van den hove, noting that optical CD metrology "has demonstrated its viability" in 90nm production for controlling critical patterning steps.
"Optical CD metrology plays an increasingly critical role in the IC fab in ensuring that patterning processes are controlled during production," stated David Fisher, optical CD business unit manager at KLA-Tencor, and working with IMEC "will yield new insights into advanced lithography that will help ease our customers' transition to future technology nodes" and meet their roadmap requirements.