As continued progress of Moore’s Law approaches the next two semiconductor technology nodes, 11 nanometers and 7 nanometers, new metrology instruments — a kind of fine-scaled ruler — is needed to succeed. Since these rulers need to be as much as 10 times more fine than the semiconductors they are measuring the current rulers could have nixed Moore’s Law continued progress.
The previous finest scale rulers today were spaced at four nanometers — invented by aBeam Technologies Inc. in cooperation with the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab using e-beam lithography, atomic layer deposition, and nano-imprint. For the new standard, extending Moore’s Law to seven nanometers, Argonne National Laboratory pitched in with aBeam and LBNL to create the finest metrology tool in the world, at 1.5 nanometers.
Designed psuedo-random 1.5 nanometer test patters (left) and a Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) image of it (right)
(Source: aBeam Technologies)
Scanning electron microscope images of gratings (a) on a nanoimprint template and (b) after imprinting and pattern transfer into silicon
SOURCES – EETimes, ABeamTech