Park Systems Corp., the inventor of the Crosstalk Eliminated (XE) AFM technology and a leading nanotechnology solutions partner for research and industry, today announced that its new 3D AFM patent applications have been allowed in the United States further expanding upon its worldwide protection.
US application 11/601,144, filed by Park Systems Corp. with an international priority date of November 17, 2006, covers Park Systems' unique method of a high resolution sidewall imaging by deliberately and independently tilting the Z-scanner in its patented Crosstalk Eliminated (XE) AFM platform where XY and Z scanners are completely and independently decoupled.
Park Systems is the leading choice of hard disk drive manufacturers for subnanometer measurement and process control therein, the most demanding nanometrology application in industry today. Park Systems serves the industry with automated nanoscale measurement solutions, including atomic force metrology tools, software and global service and support. The product solutions provided by Park Systems have been used to dramatically improve in-line process control in all segments of HDD and semiconductor manufacturing. The Company has a unique competitive advantage through the XE technology, which provides unprecedented accuracy and reliability in nanoscale measurement.
"The granting of this expansive and fundamental patent strengthens the unique and revolutionary value proposition that the XE-3DM technology offers manufacturers of hard drive, semiconductor, and photonic devices" said Park Systems CEO Dr. Sang-il Park. "By covering a broad range of applications, from complete 3D imaging of overhang structures to sidewall roughness measurement to critical angle measurements, this patent clearly demonstrates how the new 3D AFM technology can be applied to and enhance so many aspects of process development and quality analysis in hard drive, semiconductor, and photonic device industry, and solidifies Park Systems' leadership position in the space."
"We are pleased by granting of this crucial patent. The first beta customer, one that is known as a technology innovator and leader of hard drive manufacturing, has been running the XE-3DM in a production environment for more than one year. The new 3D-AFM can measure critical dimensions (CD) of photoresists with unprecedented accuracy and repeatability, and image the vertical sidewalls as well as undercut structures at deeper angles." added Ryan (YK) Yoo, Director of Global Sales and Marketing. XE-3DM is the only tool on the market today providing high resolution in-line, non-destructive 3D information to our industrial customers."
Combined with non-contact AFM imaging by its patented high bandwidth Z-scanner, Park Systems' XE-3DM technology offers non-destructive characterization of soft sample surface such as photoresist. Unlike the flared tips, the probes used on the new 3D-AFM maintain the high aspect ratio and sharp tip radius, typically less than 10 nm, providing the accurate metrology of critical dimension along with sidewall roughness. Since its inception, Park Systems has established itself as an innovator and technology leader of the atomic force microscope and the company continues to expand its AFM product offerings by licensing and supporting its technology with partners, to bring cutting-edge AFM solutions to market.