RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT

Application

THIN FILM CHARACTERIZATION

Thin films can be characterized from different aspects. The below listed applications can provide simple and clear information about the wide range of thin film classification.

  • Optical, electronic and energy applications: solar cell materials, thermochromic and electrochromic materials, nanocrystalline films. Thin films and doped layers. Study of temperature-dependent optical phase transitions.
  • Bio-ellipsometry: biosensor based on measuring the phase shift and Mueller matrix of monomolecular coatings. Anisotropic materials inspired by nature. Total internal reflection ellipsometry. Study of solid-liquid interfaces.
  • Real-time ellipsometry: measurement in situ during vacuum chamber deposition cycles.
  • Graphene and novel 2D and 3D materials. Characterization of plasmonic response of patterned surfaces. Specular, and oblique angle scatterometry.
  • High accuracy determination of optical functions (refractive index, absorption) versus wavelength.

 

Technology

SPECTROSCOPIC ELLIPSOMETRY

 

The ellipsometry is an absolute, optical measurement technique, which measures the change of light polarization when passing through a medium. The phase of a polarized light exhibits distortion due to the layer structure during reflection. This enables us to extract material properties of the medium in this structure.

The distorted polarization can be determined by several methods, in which different optical components modulate the light polarization. Semilab uses the most advanced rotating compensator layout, where a high-end, broadband compensator introduces variable phase shifts according to rotation angle in order to determine the ellipsometric components spectrally.

As ellipsometry is an indirect metrology, modelling and parameter fitting for the actual structure is necessary in order to extract the thickness and the refractive index values. The Spectroscopic Ellipsometry Analyzer (SEA) software of Semilab provides a wide range of methods to build model for the actual structures, and powerful algorithms to fit the model parameters in order to obtain the values in interest.  

The spectroscopic ellipsometry measurement method has several advantages.

First of all, it is an optical technique, so it is non-contact and non-destructive. It measures the layer thickness and optical functions of each layer in a multilayer structure.

It has high sensitivity, because it is based on measuring the phase shift of the light beam travelling through the layer structure, and the phase angle measurement does not depend on the absolute light intensity. Using white light sources and monochromators, spectral information can be obtained about the sample.

Ellipsometry measures the ratio of the complex Fresnel reflection coefficients. As this is a complex number, it can be divided into an amplitude term, and a phase shift term, which correspond to the ellipsometric angles, Ψ and Δ. These parameters contain the physical properties of the layer structure, such as the layer thickness and the refractive index. As this is a transcendental and highly nonlinear equation, it needs to be solved by numerical methods on a model-based approach. During this procedure, the layer structure is considered with thickness and optical functions in the model. The relative phase shift is calculated and compared to measured quantities during a numerical regression procedure.

 

APPLICATIONS: 

Photonics

  • LED, optronics: AlGaN, GaN, InP, etc.
  • Reflective Coatings, ARC, III-V devices (EEL, VCSEL, ECL)
  • MEMS
  • Sol-Gel/Porous coatings

Photovoltaics

  • Thin films and Silicon solar cell, Nanostructured Cells
  • Transparent conductive oxide, Nanodots, Nanowire, CNT

Organics

  • OLED
  • OPV
  • Sensors
  • OTFT

 

Semiconductors

  • High-k, Gate Oxide, Nitride oxide,Low-k
  • Interconnects, Lithography thins films
  • Epi-layers: SOI, SiGe, Strained Si, SiC, Poly

Flat Panel Displays

  • TFT-LCD
  • LTPS
  • IGZO
  • OLED
  • electrochromic layers

General

  • Ferroelectric materials (BST, SBT, PZT)
  • Fuel cells, SOFC, porous electrode
  • Graphene
  • 3D materials, periodic structures

 

Features

Non-contact and non-destructive optical measurements can be performed on:

  • substrates
  • single layer 
  • multilayer samples

Obtained parameters: thin film thickness and optical properties

Covers a wide range of applications from semiconductor, organic, optics, bio, photovoltaics, laser diode, lighting, porous layer.

 

Measurement modes:

  • Spectroscopic ellipsometry for thin film thickness and optical functions, including complex multilayer structures
  • Generalized ellipsometry for anisotropic materials
  • Transmission ellipsometry for transparent substrates
  • Scatterometry versus wavelength and incidence angle
  • Mueller matrix (11 or 16 elements) uniquely offered in combination with scatterometry for 3D anisotropic materials
  • Jones matrix for simple anisotropic materials
  • Reflectance and transmittance versus wavelength and incidence angle
  • Polarimetry
  • Porosimetry: Measurements of pore size and porosity in thin films
  • In situ measurement mode for real-time control during deposition or etch process
Product line

SE, inSE, IRSE, R2R SE, PUV SE

The SE series have a unique modular optical platform, including a spectroscopic ellipsometer with rotating compensator optics. The system has strong modular and versatile design to answer needs from simple single layer thickness to more demanding applications, such as those combining polarimetry, scatterometry and ellipsometry using Mueller matrix. It has a unique independent arm angle selection, and small spot size. The widest spectral range available on a single tool is ranging from the deep UV (193 nm) up to mid-IR (25 µm). There is a uniquely offered optional FTIR ellipsometer head on the same goniometer with the visible arms.

It can be configured with the fast detection mode by using spectrograph and detector array, with the high resolution mode by using spectrometer and single point detectors, or with both modes together on the same tool.

The SE series include Semilab’s new smart electronics with interchangeable components, and operate with the new generation operating and analysis software (SAM / SEA). The system can be controlled from a PC or laptop through LAN network, or by a new touch panel interface.

 

 

 

Products

PUV SE

Semilab produces a Spectroscopic Ellipsometer capable to work down to 135 nm. The entire spectral range is 135–650 nm. This enable to measure all the new materials designed for the next generation lithography (157 nm, Fe excimer laser), like photoresist, ARC layers and all the optics included in the next generation Stepper.

Based on GES5E platform, the ellipsometer works into a purged glove box to reduce the oxygen and water contamination in the part per million ranges. Dry Nitrogen is injected continuously in the box with automatic adjustment of the surpressure. One working face with three gloves allows mounting the sample (up to 200 mm diameter) on the sample holder. The optical set up includes a premonochromator in the polarizer arm to avoid photoresist bleaching.

In addition to ellipsometry, the system can make photometric measurements at fixed polarization state (reflectance and transmittance). Scatterometric measurements are also possible.

Applications:

  • Photoresist
  • Bottom and Top AR Coatings
  • Photomask Coatings
  • Hardmasks
  • Stepper Optical Coatings
  • Pellicles
  • Optical Materials: CaF2, MgF2, LaF3, etc.
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SE-2000

SE-2000 features the widest spectral range available on a single tool. The ranging is from the deep UV (190 nm) up to mid-IR (25 μm). The tool is uniquely offered with an optional FTIR ellipsometer head on the same goniometer with the visible arms. It can be configured with the fast detection mode by using spectrograph and detector array, with the high resolution mode by using spectrometer and single point detectors, or with both modes together on the same tool. SE-2000 includes Semilab’s new smart electronics with interchangeable components, and operates with the new generation operating and analysis software (SAM / SEA). The system can be controlled from a PC or laptop through LAN network, or by a new touch panel interface.

Measurement modes:

  • Spectroscopic Ellipsometry for thin film thickness and optical functions, including complex multilayer structures
  • Generalized Ellipsometry for anisotropic materials
  • Transmission Ellipsometry for transparent substrates
  • Scatterometry vs. wavelength and angle of incidence
  • Mueller Matrix (11 or 16 elements) uniquely offered in combination with Scatterometry for 3D anisotropic materials
  • Jones Matrix for simple anisotropic materials
  • Reflectance & Transmittance vs. wavelength and incidence angle
  • Polarimetry
  • Porosimetry: Measurements of pore size and porosity in thin films
  • In situ measurement mode for real time control during deposition or etch process

Options:

  • Mapping stage (X, Y, Z, rotation), manual or automatic
  • Microspot (400 μm standard and 60 × 240 μm ultra small - customization is subject to discussion)
  • Environmental cells: cryostat, liquid cell, cooling and heating sample stage cells, QCM cell
  • Atmospheric porosimetry chamber
  • Visualization camera
  • Spectroscopic Reflectometer
  • Extended spectral range detection
  • Possibility of integration of other Semilab metrologies (4pp, Eddy, etc.)

 

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SE-1000

SE-1000 provides modularity and high measurement performance in a compact table top footprint. This cost-efficient tool includes manual goniometer and manual sample positioning suitable for R&D laboratories. It performs non-contact and non-destructive optical measurements on substrates, single layer and multi-layer samples to obtain individual thin film thickness and optical properties. SE-1000 includes Semilab’s new smart electronics with interchangeable components, and operates with the new generation operating and analysis software (SAM / SEA). The system can be controlled from a PC or laptop through LAN network, or by a new touch panel interface.

Measurement modes:

  • Spectroscopic Ellipsometry with rotating compensator
  • Generalized Ellipsometry for anisotropic samples
  • Mueller matrix 11 coefficients
  • Jones matrix
  • Polarimetry
  • Porosimetry: Measurements of pore size distribution and porosity in thin films
  • In situ measurement mode for real time control during deposition or etch process
     

Options:

  • Microspot
  • Near-infrared spectral extension
  • Atmospheric thin film Porosimetry
  • Liquid cell cooling and heating stages
  • Visualization camera
  • Spectroscopic reflectometer
  • Liquid cell, cooling and heating stages

 

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inSE-1000

The new in situ thickness measurement tool, inSE-1000 provides instant access to layer thicknesses and optical properties through ellipsometric specra analysis during layer deposition processes in vacuum chambers and load locks.

inSE-1000 is the part of Semilab's ellipsometry tool family specially designed for the measurement on vacuum chambers during deposition or treatment processes or in load locks. The easily mountable arms can be placed on the vacuum chamber or on an offline testbench for detailed investigation of the final product. The electronic components and supplementary systems are situated in a cabinet, which can be placed next to the deposition tool. The ethernet interface allows on-demand measurement sequence with the deposition tool and the two-way communication protocol.

Features and system specifications:

  • CF-40 vacuum port interface
  • 75 W, short arc Xenon lamp by optical fiber
  • Rotating compensator optics
  • Beam divergence < 0.2o ( in parallel beam, no focusing)
  • Compact arms
  • Spectral resolution for fast mode

Software:

  • Immediate visualization of the measurement data and the fitting results: thickness and optical properties
  • Modelling of each layer with all known methods including dispersion laws, alloy model, periodic layers, phase node model, anisotropic layer evaluation, or user-defined free formula
  • Ethernet-based communication protocol with the deposition tool computer
  • The largest (n, k) database

 

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IRSE

SE is traditionally used in the UV/visible/near-infrared wavelength region (250-850 nm) for precision metrology of layer thicknesses, refractive indices and alloy concentrations. SOPRA proposed a Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopic Ellipsometer (IRSE) for research and development as early as in 1993. Infrared region is interesting, because in many cases absorption bounds related to the chemical composition of the sample can be detected. Thickness information can also be gained from the infrared region from interference fringes as in the UV-visible region. Moreover, free carrier concentration affects the absorption coefficient in the infrared range giving a non-destructive way to measure this parameter using the Drude tail.

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R2R SE

Immediate determination of film uniformity and homogeneity are important factors for in situ coating quality process control. Spectroscopic Ellipsometry (SE), as a measurement method ensures fast and reliable measurement required by characterization of thin film coatings on thin foil substrates. Semilab’s novel R2R SE metrology platform offers multilayer thickness and refractive index determination directly after the coating process on a moving roll-to-roll foil on-the-fly with acquisition time less than 100 ms per point.

Features and system specifications:

  • Fast and accurate analysis of multilayer coatings - feed forward functionality in the evaluation
  • Sequential (step-by-step) evaluation of only one layer at a time, without the need of performing the full stack analysis.
  • Elimination of the stray light reflected from the backside of the transparent substrate
  • Spot size: 500 μm at 633nm
  • Spectral range: VIS/NIR

 

In-line control:

  • Reflectance
  • Layer thickness
  • Ga-content (CIGS)
  • Conductivity (TCO)
  • Roughness

 

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