FLANDERS, N.J., Aug. 8, 2012 — Rudolph Technologies Inc.’s MetaPULSE FP thin-film metrology system is used by manufacturers of flat panel displays for handheld mobile devices, such as tablets, electronic book e-readers and smartphones. The system uses proprietary PULSE (picosecond ultrasonic laser sonar) technology to measure the critical thickness of metal layers deposited during the manufacturing process. The system enables measurement on actual product structures without contacting or destroying the device. PULSE technology’s ability to provide noncontact, nondestructive, on-product measurements of single- and multilayered opaque thin films accommodates front-end-of-line and back-end-of-line processes in semiconductor manufacturing. The new FP system combines a MetaPULSE measurement head with customized glass substrate handling to extend measurement capability to the large substrates used to make flat panels. The system is being employed on 790 × 930-mm substrates, which are used to make displays for e-readers, tablets, phones and other mobile devices. Most large flat panel display manufacturers use an active matrix technology that involves fabricating the thin-film transistors (TFTs) in either amorphous or polycrystalline silicon applied to the rear of the glass, which is similar to those used during semiconductor manufacturing. A typical TFT process includes deposition of a series of gate metals as well as deposition of Ti and/or Al source and data lines. PULSE technology provides nonontact, nondestructive measurements of these metals, individually or in a multilayered film stack, with gauge capability. Process control of these layers is directly related to panel performance and process yield. With the MetaPULSE FP system, measurement and substrate handling functions are separated.