CHIPS Act Semiconductor Metrology Needs for R&D

D. Henshall, V. Zhirnov, T. Younkin
Semiconductor Research Corporation (SRC),
United States

Keywords: metrology, semiconductor, R&D, SRC, MAPT Roadmap


Metrology in semiconductor research and manufacturing is a critical field that involves the precise measurement and characterization of various physical, chemical, and electrical properties of materials and devices. In semiconductor research, metrology is used to optimize the performance of devices by studying the properties of new materials and devices by precisely measuring crystal lattice structures, defects, and impurities in the materials. In semiconductor manufacturing, metrology is used to monitor and control various aspects of the process ensuring that patterns and various layers on the wafers are of the correct size, shape, thickness, and uniformity. Metrology is also used to monitor the quality of the materials used in the semiconductor manufacturing processes. A current trend in metrology is the convergence of capabilities between lab and fab to move technology advancements more quickly into manufacturing. This is challenging because of the concurrent trends of length scales shrinking, device structures and architectures evolving from 2D to 3D, and both chips and packages rapidly becoming increasingly heterogeneous (including integrated spintronics, photonics, power electronics, etc.). To address these trends requires advancements in measurement techniques that can be performed without slowing the manufacturing processes or risking yield reductions. Applications of AI in metrology are increasing as both researchers and manufacturers seek new ways to derive insights from more metrology data being collected and data becoming available more quickly. To support these critical metrology needs in the semiconductor industry SRC is both sponsoring many research projects in this field and also developing direction for the industry regarding future needs for advancements in metrology. Leading this guidance is the NIST-funded Microelectronics and Advanced Packaging Technology (MAPT) Roadmap developed through collaboration with roughly 100 industry, academia, and government partners each contributing ideas and insights. This document, with the interim report released in March 2023 and the full report to be released in September of 2023, will provide a consensus of the overall industry technology needs for the next 10 to 15 years and will include an entire chapter dedicated to metrology and manufacturing needs.