Metior Product Family - Lam Research

Metior Product Family

Metior Product Family


In-line process monitoring is used to identify production wafer trends and excursions as they occur, allowing corrections to be implemented quickly to prevent further yield loss. For deposition, etch, and clean steps, measurement of the mass change of a wafer before and after a process is a simple and direct means of monitoring and controlling process results, particularly for ultra-thin films, ultra-thick films, and complex 3D geometries of newer chip designs, where traditional optical metrology techniques are ineffective.

Lam’s Metior® mass metrology systems, available as both platform-integrated modules and as stand-alone systems, deliver sub-milligram mass measurement capability for advanced process monitoring and control of three-dimensional device structures.

Industry Challenges

As devices become more three-dimensionally complex, traditional optical metrology techniques are often insufficient for maintaining tight control of etch, deposition, and clean processes. For example, the bottoms of high aspect ratio (HAR) structures may be invisible to top-down optical signals. Likewise, certain thick films are frequently too opaque for precise thickness measurement, and lateral processing steps occur too deeply in a structure to be visible. Many geometries are now so complex that fitting optical critical dimension (OCD) models requires substantial investment and long development and validation timelines. In addition, meeting tight requirements for etch applications often requires real-time methods for addressing within-lot and lot-to-lot variability sources. As a result, chipmakers require an alternative means of monitoring process results that addresses the limitations of optical techniques in a cost-effective manner.

Key Customer Benefits

  • Low cost of ownership, high-throughput in-line process monitoring
  • Simple measurement with clear physical meaning (wafer mass and mass change)
  • High sensitivity with sub-nanometer film detection capability
  • Greater sensitivity as device complexity and aspect ratio increases
  • Process control on 3D/hidden structures where optical metrology is ineffective
  • Maximum flexibility for multi-application use and variable sampling strategies using standalone system configuration
  • Real-time control and lower cost of sampling on every wafer using platform-integrated configuration

Product Offerings

  • Metior® HX
  • Metior® HXE

Key Applications

  • HAR etch – DRAM cell, 3D NAND channel hole
  • Conformal and ALD/sidewall deposition
  • Horizontal processing –recess etch, fill
  • Film density monitoring
  • Carbon mask open
  • Wafer cleaning/polymer removal