Zyvex Instruments

Zyvex Instruments

Zyvex Instruments offers a suite of nanoprobing characterization solutions for the semiconductor industry and advanced research markets. 


  – Zyvex Instruments


Q: In which Countries does your organization have a presence?

Zyvex has a global presence — in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Argentina, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia, China, India, Australia, U.K., Ireland, Germany, France, Italy, Netherlands, Spain, Israel, and Russia.  

Q: How many employees do you have?

Zyvex currently employs more than 20 people.  

Q: Please provide a short paragraph outlining the history of your organization.  

Zyvex Instruments spun off from its parent company, Zyvex Corporation, in April 2007.  Zyvex started selling nanomanipulators to researchers in 2003 after the product was developed for in house research use.  Zyvex quickly found a solution for a new problem in the semiconductor failure analysis space: non-visual failure localization in integrated circuit chips designed at the nanoscale (below 120nm node).  The company grew by focusing on these two markets and now has a suite of nanoprobing solutions tailored to many different customers and applications.  In 2007 Zyvex shipped its flagship nProber; a semi-automated, 8 positioner system that included the scanning electron microscope.  The nProber is the culmination of a tremendous amount of nanoscale knowledge, development, and engineering.  Zyvex Instruments continues to grow in these markets and is now developing other markets where nanomanipulation can have an equally great impact.  

Q: Explain the role of nanotechnology in the development of your organization or department.

Zyvex Instruments benefitted from many contributions from nanotechnologists.  Techniques were developed to produce nanoscale probes with tip radius smaller than 50nm in commercial quantities.  Software engineers, physicists, electrical engineers, and mechanical engineers all worked together to achieve motion control at an unprecedented level.  Industry partners with nanotechnology tools were integral to ZI’s success in SEM nanoprobing and electrical characterization.  And, of course, the need for nanoscale solutions in the market made all of this possible.  

Q: What key markets do you serve?  

Zyvex Instruments serves the semiconductor and research and education markets.  The solutions are targeted mainly at semiconductor failure analysis and yield enhancement.  In the research market the tools are used by engineers, physicists, and material scientists to do electrical and mechanical characterization.  Further growth is planned in the bio-nano and materials industries.  

Q: Briefly describe a current project involving nanotechnology, and what your anticipated outcome will be (new process, new product, etc.)  

Zyvex Instruments is currently working on full automation of the nProber – an SEM nanoprober solution for integrated circuit debug and repair.  Automation of these processes will be at the nanoscale and will not only improve the product and help the customer, but will further our ability to directly and programmably manipulate objects at the nanoscale – a key long-term goal of Zyvex.    

Q: Where do you see nanotechnology applications leading in the future?

Every aspect of science, engineering, and daily life will be impacted by nanotechnology applications, either directly, or indirectly.     

Q: What advice would you offer to someone who wanted to work at your organization in 3-5 years?  

Nanotechnology is not greatly different from other scientific and engineering advances, except that it is more interdisciplinary.  Nanotechnology has blurred the lines between physics, chemistry, and biology, and deep understanding of the underlying principles of one field, with a broad understanding of related disciplines will be highly valued in this space. This industry will continue to change and what may be a semiconductor application today could be a bio-nano application tomorrow. The most valuable people will always be those who are good problem solvers with the drive to learn more and the ability to apply solutions to the real world.  Future candidates in the area of nanotechnology should focus on this core and supplement it with study in the basic principles of nanoscale science.

Q:  What industry do you think has been impacted the most by nanotechnology thus far? Why?

The semiconductor industry has been the leader in nanotechnology thus far.  Nanoscale materials and problems have been around for decades, but true engineering at the nanoscale is fully being realized in microelectronics manufacturing and design.  The industry is designing around nanoscale problems, employing nanomaterials and nanoscale engineering techniques, manufacturing at the nanoscale, and purchasing nanotechnology equipment.

Q:  What industry do you think has the greatest future potential to be impacted by nanotechnology?  Why?  

The healthcare industry has the most potential for improvement from nanotechnology.  Breakthroughs in nanotechnology will not only redefine how we handle healthcare but will create offshoot industries in human engineering that we have yet to envision.  The scales at which we work today in the human body are huge compared to the size of a nanotube or a logic transistor.  There is so much space to explore and so many problems to conquer that bio-nano markets will dwarf all others.

Product shot of the nProber™ f-series system. Image Credit: Zyvex Instruments

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