Accuracy of patterning impacts yield, IC performance and technology time to market. Accuracy of patterning relies on optical proximity correction (OPC) models built using CD-SEM inputs and intra die critical dimension (CD) control based on CD-SEM. Sub-nanometer measurement uncertainty (MU) of CD-SEM is required for current technologies. Reported design and process related bias variation of CD-SEM is in the range of several nanometers. Reference metrology and numerical modeling are used to correct SEM. Both methods are slow to be used for real time bias correction. We report on real time CD-SEM bias correction using empirical models based on reference metrology (RM) data. Significant amount of currently untapped information (sidewall angle, corner rounding, etc.) is obtainable from SEM waveforms. Using additional RM information provided for specific technology (design rules, materials, processes) CD extraction algorithms can be pre-built and then used in real time for accurate CD extraction from regular CD-SEM images. The art and challenge of SEM modeling is in finding robust correlation between SEM waveform features and bias of CD-SEM as well as in minimizing RM inputs needed to create accurate (within the design and process space) model. The new approach was applied to improve CD-SEM accuracy of 45 nm GATE and 32 nm MET1 OPC 1D models. In both cases MU of the state of the art CD-SEM has been improved by 3x and reduced to a nanometer level. Similar approach can be applied to 2D (end of line, contours, etc.) and 3D (sidewall angle, corner rounding, etc.) cases.
V. Ukraintsev, W. Banke, G. Zagorodnev, C. Archie, N. Rana, V. Pavlovsky, V. Smirnov, I. Briginas, A. Katnani, and A. Vaid, "CD-SEM real time bias correction using reference metrology based modeling," Proc. SPIE 10585, Metrology, Inspection, and Process Control for Microlithography XXXII, 105850W (Presented at SPIE Advanced Lithography: February 28, 2018; Published: 13 March 2018); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2297065.
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