Tuesday 25th July 2006
Veeco Instruments Inc. announced that it received a record $17 million in second quarter 2006 orders for its automated Atomic Force Microscopes (AFMs). Customers placing orders included those from the semiconductor and data storage industries.
Several leading worldwide photomask manufacturers have selected Veeco's automated AFMs for metrology needs at 45nm and below. Applications for the tool include measurement of critical dimension & 3D metrology on a variety of mask materials (such as MoSi, chrome-on-glass, and resist), and for high-resolution defect review for photomask repair.
Veeco also sold several AFMs to its hard drive industry customers to be used for 3D metrology steps in the development of advanced perpendicular recording heads. Veeco's Auto AFMs provide non-destructive imaging capability which is not currently being satisfied by existing metrology technologies. In addition, the strong second quarter orders also included a system sold for CMOS Image Sensor Technology, where Auto AFM provides in-line measurement for height and width, enabling higher resolution, lower cost image sensors.
Jeannine Sargent, Executive Vice President, Veeco Metrology, commented, "In addition to being used as accurate 3D reference metrology systems in the semiconductor fab, automated AFMs are now finding new applications, such as in photomask manufacturing and in the production of CMOS image sensor technologies, where existing metrology technologies are inadequate. AFMs are also being used by all leading hard disk drive manufacturers for critical measurements required in the production of their next generation perpendicular recording heads."