Nanometrics VerteX rapid PL mapping system predicts green LED wavelengths

Oct. 23, 2006
Date Announced: 23 Oct 2006 VerteX Is First to Accurately Predict Green LED Emission Wavelength at Wafer LevelNanometrics, Inc. (Nasdaq: NANO), the leading supplier of both advanced integrated and standalone metrology equipment for the semiconductor and related industries, introduced today its VerteX rapid photoluminescence (PL) mapping system used for compound semiconductor production control during volume manufacturing of optoelectronic devices, such as light emitting diodes (LEDs). The tool marks the first automated PL mapping system that accurately predicts emission wavelengths for green LEDs at the wafer level. Green LEDs are vital for RGB-based LED displays and solid-state lighting applications.This is Nanometrics’ initial product launch since completing its acquisition earlier this year of Accent Optical Technologies, Inc., a leading supplier of overlay and thin-film metrology and process control systems. VerteX’s superior control of laser excitation conditions allows for accurate matching of PL data to electroluminescence (EL) test information, resulting in faster run-to-run epitaxial layer growth feedback. This enables the predictive metrics required for volume production of LEDs, particularly green LEDs. Conventionally, the exact emission wavelength of a green LED can only be measured by an electrical test after the wafer has been fully processed. VerteX, however, has the unique capability to forecast diode performance before the wafer is fully processed, providing the critical data needed to actively adjust process controls for optimal epitaxial layer growth — the yield-limiting step in LED production. The tool also can be used in manufacturing a wide range of optoelectronic materials, including ultraviolet (UV) diode lasers for high-definition DVD and Blu-Ray optical disc appliances. “As production volumes increase and tolerances tighten for epitaxial layers, customers demand a metrology tool that not only provides accurate measurements, but that can provide the processing data required to accelerate time to yield. VerteX answers these requirements and more,” said Tom Ryan, Nanometrics’ product manager for compound semiconductors. “In the case of LED processing, VerteX makes possible accurate predictive processing metrics of green, blue and UV LED emission wavelengths at the wafer level, a capability that is unmatched in the industry. This system also demonstrates Nanometrics’ commitment to the emerging markets for LEDs, such as backlighting for LCD TV displays, automotive headlights and solid-state lighting.”VerteX already has been adopted by two of the world’s leading solid-state lighting manufacturers and is now available commercially. This new product complements Nanometrics’ portfolio of wafer inspection systems, including the industry-standard RPM2000, desktop PL mapping system, and it adds another important component to the company’s closed-loop advanced process control (APC) capabilities, enabling a predictive metrics strategy for its customers.About Nanometrics:Nanometrics is a leader in the design, manufacture and marketing of high-performance process control metrology systems used in semiconductor manufacturing. Nanometrics metrology systems measure various thin film properties, critical dimensions, overlay control and optical, electrical and material properties, including the structural composition of silicon and compound semiconductor devices, during various steps of the manufacturing process. These systems enable semiconductor manufacturers to improve yields, increase productivity and lower their manufacturing costs. The Company maintains its headquarters in Milpitas, California, with sales and service offices worldwide. Nanometrics is traded on NASDAQ Global Market under the symbol NANO.

Peter Gise Nanometrics 408.435.9600


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