Duration of contract 4 years
Closing date: 1 July 2014
In recent years we have developed the technology for instruments in which many electron beams operate in parallel. In MAPPER this technology is used for lithography on the full wafer scale. In a university prototype the technology is used for 196-beam scanning electron microscopy. Now a feasibility study will be conducted for use in high-throughput electron beam inspection of patterned semiconductor wafers. Presently there is no clear technology roadmap for detecting 10 nm defects, a capability that the semiconductor industry will need at the latest in 2018. This project therefore has great urgency, and much will happen in four years.
The first challenge is to create a dedicated electron microscope with 100-200 beams scanning in parallel on a footprint of 25x30 mm. This would be a revolutionary design that many consider impossible. In particular, the separate detection of the secondary electron signals needs some careful analysis and innovative optical design. The detection of the signal at a rate of several GB/s is also a challenge. When put in a 10x10 array over a 300 mm wafer, these microscopes could make an image ofthe pattern on the wafer at 10nm resolution within one hour. Thus, it is a project that includes work in electron optics, nanotechnology (MEMS), mechanical precision design, electronics, detector technology and signal processing. From the start, there will be close contact with both the semiconductor industry and the companies that produce inspection machines. The successful candidate will play a role in these contacts.
Prof.dr. P. Kruit
Mrs. J.T. van Vliet