Semiconductor metrology instruments are designed for wafer and thin film in-line inspection after semiconductor processing. Today, semiconductor manufacturing follows very strict standards and must accommodate very small dimensions. The resulting quality control (QC) procedures and semiconductor inspection processes have resulted in the development of high-precision semiconductor metrology instruments.
‘Operating’ temperature has important consequences for the performance and reliability of semiconductor devices. For instance, the speed, or maximum operating frequency, of a microprocessor typically decreases as the temperature increases, and the gain or trans conductance of a transistor may either increase or decrease with increasing temperature, depending upon the device type and operating conditions. It is also commonly assumed that the safety margin or reliability of a semiconductor device decreases as the temperature increases. It is not surprising, then, that a significant amount of effort goes into accurately measuring the temperature at which devices operate.