The global thin film metrology systems market has been witnessing significant growth over the past few years on account of increasing application scope in measuring thin film parameters such as thickness, resistivity, and stress. Increasing demand for integration and miniaturization of semiconductors is the key factor to drive the market over the forecast period. High-level integration to add functionalities on a single device has resulted in miniaturization of IC, and this is expected to surge demand for thin-film metrology systems over the forecast period. Thin-film metrology systems are extensively used to improve the efficiency of semiconductor manufacturing processes. The market is expected to witness lucrative growth over the next seven years on account of increasing demand for semiconductor devices from the electronics industry. Moreover, strong growth in the electronics industry is likely to complement the market growth over the forecast period. These systems have found applications in manufacturing complex semiconductor ICs. Widespread application base of ICs led to the introduction of complex architectures such as 3D and FinFET. This is further expected to boost thin film metrology systems demand. However, demand fluctuation in semiconductor industries is the key challenge, which is expected to restrain the market over the next seven years.
Major thin-film metrologies include opaque films, transparent films, and thick films among others. Opaque films metrology uses sound waves for measuring film thickness. Time measured between sound induction and echo detection directly provides the thickness of films. Transparent film metrology measures the thickness of film with the application of X-ray at multiple angles and wavelengths. This metrology is widely used owing to the accuracy and low maintenance cost associated with it.
Various technologies used in the thin-film metrology systems market include spectroscopic reflectometry, ellipsometry, profilometry, and X-ray analysis. These technologies play a pivotal role in the production of complex semiconductor devices such as transistors, advanced memory chip devices, motherboards, and many others. Thin-film metrology systems are widely used in these applications to maintain process uniformity during production. The electrical & electronics industry was the largest end-use market for thin-film metrology systems in 2013 owing to a widespread application base in the semiconductor manufacturing process. Technological advancement in this industry is further expected to drive the market. The market is anticipated to witness lucrative growth over the next seven years owing to increasing application scope of thin film metrology systems in the spectrometer, light sources, reflection probe, software, and other electronic accessories. Nanotechnology is the second major industry for this market owing to the large number of applications associated with thin-film metrology systems in measuring nanomaterials’ parameters such as thickness, resistivity, and stress.
Major companies, such as Rudolph Technologies, KLA-Tencor, and Nanometrics, are involved in R&D activities to develop better technologies and products in this market. Some of the key technologies vendors for this market include Hitachi High-Technologies, Nova Measuring Instruments, SCREEN Holdings, and Semilab.
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The exponential spread of COVID-19 worldwide has had an adverse impact on the semiconductor industry with manufacturing facilities temporarily shut, leading to a significant slowdown in the production. The outbreak could result in disruption across the ecosystem with several supply chain participants shifting their production facilities outside China, thereby reducing their over-reliance on China. Lockdowns imposed by the governments in the wake of the Covid-19 outbreak has not only affected manufacturing but also hauled consumer demand for semiconductor devices. Our analysts predict a decline in semiconductor revenue by over 1% in 2020 as compared to that in 2019. The report will account for Covid19 as a key market contributor.