The semiconductor industry is moving toward a half-pitch of 7 nm. The required metrology equipment should be one order of magnitude more accurate than that. Any metrology tool is only as good as it is calibrated. The characterization of metrology systems requires test patterns that are one order of magnitude smaller than the measured features. The test sample was designed in such a way that the distribution of linewidths appears to be random at any location and any magnification. The power spectral density of such pseudo-random test pattern is inherently flat, down to the minimum size of lines. Metrology systems add a cut-off of the spectra at high frequencies; the shape of the cut-off characterizes the system in its entire dynamic range. This method is widely used in optics, and has allowed optical systems to be perfected down to their diffraction limit. There were attempts to use the spectral method to characterize nanometrology systems such as SEMs, but the absence of natural samples with known spatial frequencies was a common problem. Pseudo-random test patterns with linewidths down to 1.5 nm were fabricated. The system characterization includes the imaging of a pseudo-random test sample and image analysis by a developed software to automatically extract the power spectral density and the contrast transfer function of the nanoimaging system.
S. Babin, N. Bouet, S. Cabrini, G. Calafiore, R. Conley, G. Gevorkyan, K. Munechika, A. Vladár, and V. V. Yashchuk, "1.5nm fabrication of test patterns for characterization of metrological systems," Proc. SPIE 10145, Metrology, Inspection, and Process Control for Microlithography XXXI, 1014518 (Presented at SPIE Advanced Lithography: March 01, 2017; Published: 28 March 2017); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2257624.
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