Innovations in the electronics and semiconductor industries have birthed two relentless trends. Both profoundly impact both product designers and those charged with assuring that what was designed is what was manufactured. The trends are: higher densities for components, boards and processors, and the need for very high precision in the metal plating that enables functionality.
Measuring many small features (a wafer with 1,000 features, some of which are less than 100µm is no longer an anomaly) and quantifying multiple metal plating layers is usually tasked to XRF systems. For every company, the objectives are threefold: to do and document as much testing as practical, to minimize errors from operators or equipment, and to maximize efficiency through tools such as “travelers,” which track a sample’s ID throughout manufacturing and testing.