n&k Technology, Inc., of San Jose, California, was founded in 1992 by Drs. Rahim Forouhi and Iris Bloomer. The company manufactures exceptionally high resolution, state-of-the-art scatterometry (OCD) and thin film metrology tools for the semiconductor, photomask, data storage, flat panel display and solar cell industries. n&k’s large family of tools provide measurements for a large range of OCD and thin film structures that cover current and future applications, and are used for the most challenging applications of today’s high tech industries.
Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer
Dr. Rahim Forouhi is responsible for overseeing n&k’s overall business direction as well as driving the technical expertise in broadband spectrophotometry, semiconductor processing and optical instrumentation.
Dr. Forouhi holds a patent based on what is known in current scientific literature as the Forouhi-Bloomer optical dispersion equations. Together with n&k co-founder Dr. Iris Bloomer, he developed the patented “n&k Method,” a spectrophotometric method utilizing the Forouhi-Bloomer optical dispersion equations for simultaneously determining thickness, index of refraction, extinction coefficient and the energy band gap for a variety of thin films, semiconductors, optical coatings and flat panel displays. A pioneer in his field, Dr. Forouhi has authored or co-authored 42 issued patents for semiconductor processing, optical instrumentation and optical characterization of materials, and has written numerous technical publications.
Dr. Forouhi received his Ph.D. in Materials Science from the University of California, Berkeley. He holds a Masters in Physics from the University of Oslo, Norway, and a Bachelor of Science degree in Physics from the first graduating class of Aryamehr University of Technology in Tehran, Iran.
Co-Founder and Executive Vice President
Dr. Iris Bloomer is responsible for n&k’s strategic sales and marketing direction. Before co-founding n&k Technology, Dr. Bloomer spent the past 17 years as Professor of Physics at San Jose State University and is currently Professor-Emerita. She has authored numerous technical publications and serves on the technical advisory board of Vacuum & Thin Film.
Dr. Bloomer holds a patent for what is known in current scientific literature as the Forouhi-Bloomer optical dispersion equations. Together with n&k co founder, Dr. Rahim Forouhi, she developed the patented “n&k Method” a spectrophotometric method utilizing the Forouhi-Bloomer optical dispersion equations for simultaneously determining thickness, index of refraction, extinction coefficient and the energy band gap for a variety of thin films, Semiconductors, Optical Coatings and Flat Panel Displays.
Dr. Bloomer received her doctorate in Physics in the area of General Relativity from the University of London and was awarded a Masters degree in Physics, instead of the Bachelor of Arts degree, by Temple University.
Until the early 1980s mathematical algorithms not derived from first principles, such as the Cauchy equations, were used to determine the refractive index (n) and the extinction coefficient (k) as a function of wavelength. Such equations were valid only for a very limited range of wavelengths, and became difficult to apply as technology advanced.
Dr. Rahim Forouhi, President and co-founder of n&k, starting from first principles, deduced physically valid equations for the calculations of n and k. These equations are referred to, in current scientific literature, as Forouhi-Bloomer Equations, as n&k co-founder Dr. Iris Bloomer was simultaneously working with Dr. Forouhi to develop the physical significance of the equations.
The Forouhi-Bloomer model is a physically valid universal set of equations for n and k as functions of wavelengths that require far fewer parameters than any other model to fit experimental data over any wavelength, from the Extreme Ultra-Violet (EUV) to Infra-Red (IR) regime. These equations are applicable to all thin film materials and substrates, even inhomogeneous films.