Scaling of interconnect design rules in advanced nodes has been accompanied by a reducing metrology budget for BEOL process control. Traditional inline optical metrology measurements of BEOL processes rely on 1-dimensional (1D) film pads to characterize film thickness. Such pads are designed on the assumption that solid copper blocks from previous metallization layers prevent any light from penetrating through the copper, thus simplifying the effective film stack for the 1D optical model. However, the reduction of the copper thickness in each metallization layer and CMP dishing effects within the pad, have introduced undesired noise in the measurement. To resolve this challenge and to measure structures that are more representative of product, scatterometry has been proposed as an alternative measurement. Scatterometry is a diffraction based optical measurement technique using Rigorous Coupled Wave Analysis (RCWA), where light diffracted from a periodic structure is used to characterize the profile. Scatterometry measurements on 3D structures have been shown to demonstrate strong correlation to electrical resistance parameters for BEOL Etch and CMP processes. However, there is significant modeling complexity in such 3D scatterometry models, in particlar due to complexity of front-end-of-line (FEOL) and middle-of-line (MOL) structures. The accompanying measurement noise associated with such structures can contribute significant measurement error. To address the measurement noise of the 3D structures and the impact of incoming process variation, a hybrid scatterometry technique is proposed that utilizes key information from the structure to significantly reduce the measurement uncertainty of the scatterometry measurement. Hybrid metrology combines measurements from two or more metrology techniques to enable or improve the measurement of a critical parameter. In this work, the hybrid scatterometry technique is evaluated for 7nm and 14nm node BEOL measurements of interlayer dielectric (ILD) thickness, hard mask thickness and dielectric trench etch in complex 3D structures. The data obtained from the hybrid scatterometry technique demonstrates stable measurement precision, improved within wafer and wafer to wafer range, robustness in cases where 3D scatterometry measurements incur undesired shifts in the measurements, accuracy as compared to TEM and correlation to process deposition time. Process capability indicator comparisons also demonstrate improvement as compared to conventional scatterometry measurements. The results validate the suitability of the method for monitoring of production BEOL processes.
Padraig Timoney, Alok Vaid, Byeong Cheol Kang, Haibo Liu, Paul Isbester, Marjorie Cheng, Susan Ng-Emans, Naren Yellai, Matt Sendelbach, Roy Koret, and Oram Gedalia, "Hybrid scatterometry measurement for BEOL process control," Proc. SPIE 10145, Metrology, Inspection, and Process Control for Microlithography XXXI, 1014506 (Presented at SPIE Advanced Lithography: February 27, 2017; Published: 28 March 2017); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2261452.
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