Hitachi High-Tech Launches High-Precision Electron Beam Metrology System

Hitachi High-Tech Corporation launches the GT2000 high-precision electron beam metrology system. GT2000 integrates Hitachi High-Tech’s technology and expertise in CD-SEM*1, where it holds the top market share.

Mainly, GT2000 highlights a new detection system for cutting-edge 3D semiconductor devices. Additionally, it utilizes low-damage high-speed multi-point measurement functions for High-NA EUV*2 resist wafers imaging. This aims to minimize resist damage and improve yield in mass production.

GT2000 high-precision electron beam metrology system

Hitachi High-Tech GT2000 CD-SEM will enable high-precision, high-speed measurements, and inspection in the manufacturing process of advanced semiconductor devices, which are becoming increasingly miniaturized and complex. Also, it will contribute to the improvement of customer yields in research and development and mass production.

*1 CD-SEM (Critical Dimension-Scanning Electron Microscope): An equipment designed to perform high-precision measurement of the dimensions of fine semiconductor circuit patterns formed on wafers.

*2 High-NA (Numerical Aperture) EUV (Extreme Ultraviolet): Extreme ultraviolet (13.5 nm wavelength) lithography equipment with an improved numerical aperture compared to conventional equipment.

Development Background

As semiconductor device manufacturing processes evolve, the research and development of N2 (2-nanometer generation node) and A14 (14-angstrom generation node) is underway. An increase in the application of High-NA EUV lithography in state-of-the-art devices is anticipated. Also, the complexity of device structures, such as the GAA*3 and CFET*4 structures, is expected to increase.

Hence, there is a growing need for high-speed data acquisition under a wide range of measurement conditions to measure various materials and structures. Also, requirements for stable operation and tool-to-tool matching improvements in the research stages are increasing. Further, mass production for cutting-edge semiconductor devices process development are increasing as well.

*3 GAA (Gate All Around): A transistor structure in which the gate completely covers the channel

*4 CFET (Complementary Field Effect Transistor): A complementary field effect transistor in which n-type and p-type devices are stacked

Key Technologies

1. 100V ultra-low acceleration voltage and ultra-high-speed multi-point measurement functionality for High-NA EUV processes

In the High-NA EUV lithography process, the resists used are thinner. Therefore, to measure it with high precision, metrology tool must cause as little damage as possible to the resist. GT2000 achieves low damage and high-precision measurement. It combines pioneering ultra-low acceleration voltage of 100V, with Hitachi’s proprietary high-speed scanning functionality. In addition, it integrates an ultra-high-speed multi-point measurement mode. Specifically, it quickly determines manufacturing process conditions and detects abnormalities in the research and development stage.

2. High-sensitivity detection system for 3D device structures

3D devices with structures such as GAA, CFET, and 3D memory require measurements of patterns’ depth, hole’ and trenches’ bottoms in addition to conventional CD measurement. A new highly sensitive detection system feature of GT2000 efficiently detects back-scattered electrons. Specifically, it enables high-precision imaging of increasingly complex device structures and expands possibilities for new measurement applications.

3. New platforms and new electronic optical systems to improve tool-to-tool matching

One of the most important performance requirements for CD-SEM, which is responsible for process monitoring, is that the difference in measurement values between multiple tools is small. GT2000’s new platform and electronic optical systems have been redesigned to eliminate any factors that cause differences in measurement values, thus, improving tool-to-tool matching.

By offering GT2000, as well as the company’s metrology systems that use electron beam technology and optical wafer inspection systems, Hitachi High-Tech is working to meet customers’ various needs in processing, measurement, and inspection throughout the semiconductor manufacturing process. The company will continue to provide innovative and digitally enhanced solutions to its products for the upcoming technology challenges. Further, it will create new value together with customers, as well as contribute to cutting-edge manufacturing.