In recent years, the combination of device scaling, complex 3D device architecture and tightening process tolerances have strained the capabilities of optical metrology tools to meet process needs. Two main categories of approaches have been taken to address the evolving process needs. In the first category, new hardware configurations are developed to provide more spectral sensitivity. Most of this category of work will enable next generation optical metrology tools to try to maintain pace with next generation process needs. In the second category, new innovative algorithms have been pursued to increase the value of the existing measurement signal. These algorithms aim to boost sensitivity to the measurement parameter of interest, while reducing the impact of other factors that contribute to signal variability but are not influenced by the process of interest. This paper will evaluate the suitability of machine learning to address high volume manufacturing metrology requirements in both front end of line (FEOL) and back end of line (BEOL) sectors from advanced technology nodes. In the FEOL sector, initial feasibility has been demonstrated to predict the fin CD values from an inline measurement using machine learning. In this study, OCD spectra were acquired after an etch process that occurs earlier in the process flow than where the inline CD is measured. The fin hard mask etch process is known to impact the downstream inline CD value. Figure 1 shows the correlation of predicted CD vs downstream inline CD measurement obtained after the training of the machine learning algorithm. For BEOL, machine learning is shown to provide an additional source of information in prediction of electrical resistance from structures that are not compatible for direct copper height measurement. Figure 2 compares the trench height correlation to electrical resistance (Rs) and the correlation of predicted Rs to the e-test Rs value for a far back end of line (FBEOL) metallization level across 3 products. In the case of product C, it is found that the predicted Rs correlation to the e-test value is significantly improved utilizing spectra acquired at the e-test structure. This paper will explore the considerations required to enable use of machine learning derived metrology output to enable improved process monitoring and control. Further results from the FEOL and BEOL sectors will be presented, together with further discussion on future proliferation of machine learning based metrology solutions in high volume manufacturing.
Padraig Timoney, Taher Kagalwala, Edward Reis, Houssam Lazkani, Jonathan Hurley, Haibo Liu, Charles Kang, Paul Isbester, Naren Yellai, Michael Shifrin, and Yoav Etzioni, "Implementation of machine learning for high-volume manufacturing metrology challenges," Proc. SPIE 10585, Metrology, Inspection, and Process Control for Microlithography XXXII, 105850X (Presented at SPIE Advanced Lithography: February 28, 2018; Published: 21 March 2018); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2300167.
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