How MP Tools transforms challenges into opportunities

The difference between a challenge and an opportunity often comes down to our mindset. Do you see new, difficult things as a problem – or a chance to grow? Most of us know that choosing the second option can open up opportunities we could have never predicted, even if it’s not always easy!

Growth mindset for a still-growing industry

A growth mindset will certainly serve you well in today’s semiconductor industry, especially in the field of wafer metrology. Accurately characterizing semiconductor wafers already requires expertise – but the individual layers are becoming increasingly thinner and more complex, all the way down to 2D materials. X-ray metrology is working hard to keep up with this trend, as there is less and less room for error. Novel materials and different substrates present analytical challenges too, as their performance and characteristics may be less understood or less optimized than established materials.

But of course, these are also great opportunities! Using the thinnest 2D materials and new substrates offers the chance to improve performance and overcome current limitations. It’s challenging at first – but the key is how you look at it.

See more with the 2830 ZT

So, how do we look at it? That is, how do we analyze the next generation of wafers? My first answer would be, “Accurately!” When working with ever-thinner layers, making sure that accuracy keeps up with the application is essential. As you might imagine, it’s a key criterion for us in metrology.

That’s why we created our highly specialized wafer analyzer – the 2830 ZT. A wavelength-dispersive X-ray fluorescence spectrometer (WDXRF), it’s the ultimate solution for measuring film thickness and composition. It was created based on the specific needs of the semiconductor and data storage industries, making it easy and efficient to determine layer composition, thickness, dopant levels, and surface uniformity from one device.

But accuracy is more than the instrument itself, although it’s a great place to start! Other factors can significantly affect your results, especially in a busy lab or fab where you’re working with many instruments at once. To maintain quality at scale, you need consistency across your measurements – which can be tricky to achieve, even with highly consistent instruments like the 2830 ZT.

Consistently easier

And that’s where ToolMatch comes in! ToolMatch is a software solution from Malvern Panalytical that works as an optional add-on to the 2830 ZT. It calculates the regression of systematic differences in your results, making it easy to correct for those differences and standardize your data across different instruments – or even across different working locations.

These corrections can be applied automatically to your routine measurements, saving you a lot of time. The software also makes it quick and easy to perform overall toolmatching calibration, so it’s less of a time-sink to carry out regularly and your results naturally fall into a narrower range. One problem – two solutions!

The perfect angle every time

So, you’re set up with accurate instruments, and they’ve been toolmatched to keep them consistent. It’s time to start measuring! But as we mentioned earlier, the thinner the layer, the more challenging accurate analysis can be. One reason for this? Diffraction interferes with your X-ray measurement. When a diffraction signal is picked up along with the correct signal, it can cause a larger spread in your results and higher background signals. With smaller layers, these interferences become even more significant.

To get around this problem, Malvern Panalytical has created another software add-on: DifferAction. This program identifies the ideal wafer offset angle for all the elements involved in your experiment, minimizing interferences. It also cuts down on trial and error, simulating channel positions to find the ideal configuration and suppress the effects of diffraction peaks.

ToolMatch and DifferAction are so powerful (and popular!) when combined that, together, they make up our MP Tools package. It’s a great way to seriously enhance the accuracy of your results in a flexible, easy-to-use format.

The MP Tools of Tomorrow

As semiconductor development and production continue to grow, time-saving and efficiency will only become more important in meeting demand. All the exciting innovations underway within the sector rely on analysis as their foundation, and solutions such as the 2830 ZT, with its ToolMatch and DifferAction capabilities, offer a way to truly drive progress and shape the future.

Talk to us today and discover how MP Tools and the 2830 ZT can empower you to create the wafers of tomorrow!

Explore all of our metrology solutions for the semiconductor and electronics industries here.