In contrast to semiconductor manufacturing where features are mostly lines or contact holes, the disk drive reader has a complex, nonlinear 3D geometry. Metrology of such geometries is challenging; especially with regard to repeatability of measurements. New methods were needed to keep up with production requirements for metrology regarding uncertainty of critical dimensions (CD). We report a new method developed for CD metrology of the disk drive writer pole. The method demonstrated improved uncertainties compared to the regularly used CD-SEM algorithms and also has capability for side wall angle (SWA) metrology for process control.
The method utilizes multiple steps: a) extract contours from SEM images, b) identify exact locations on a curvilinear feature where CD should be measured, and c) provide CD measurements at these locations. SEM images from a variety of production wafers were used for evaluation of the developed method. Multiple series of SEM images were processed using a software utilizing advanced algorithms without using regular brightness threshold CD-SEM methodologies. It was found that CD repeatability was improved by a factor of three compared to the results of the regular threshold based CD-SEM method.
TEM imaging is used to measure side wall angle; it takes a lot of efforts for sample preparation and the feedback is slow. If extraction of SWA is possible from top down SEM images it would provide instant feedback to manufacturing and reduce cost. Monte Carlo simulations were used to understand the sensitivity of SWA to the trench CD and depth. Height of features was measured using AFM. A method to extract SWA from top down images was developed. Numerous SEM images were processed; results were compared to experiment and analyzed. It was shown that the 3-sigma repeatability of SWA measurement was 0.15 degree. It was also found that the left and the right SWA were different on multiple wafers, the results were very consistent from one image series to another one, at the same time the SWA difference between the left and right walls was considerably larger than the uncertainty of SWA measurement.
Narender Rana, Anhhuy Ngo, Chester Chien, Sergey Babin, and Igor Ivonin, "High repeatability CD-SEM metrology of disk drive writer and extraction of SWA (Conference Presentation)," Proc. SPIE 10585, Metrology, Inspection, and Process Control for Microlithography XXXII, 1058516 (Presented at SPIE Advanced Lithography: February 28, 2018; Published: 19 March 2018); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2301328.5754447704001.
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