24 March 2017 Integrated approach to improving local CD uniformity in EUV patterning
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Abstract
Extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography is crucial to enabling technology scaling in pitch and critical dimension (CD). Currently, one of the key challenges of introducing EUV lithography to high volume manufacturing (HVM) is throughput, which requires high source power and high sensitivity chemically amplified photoresists. Important limiters of high sensitivity chemically amplified resists (CAR) are the effects of photon shot noise and resist blur on the number of photons received and of photoacids generated per feature, especially at the pitches required for 7 nm and 5 nm advanced technology nodes. These stochastic effects are reflected in via structures as hole-to-hole CD variation or local CD uniformity (LCDU). Here, we demonstrate a synergy of film stack deposition, EUV lithography, and plasma etch techniques to improve LCDU, which allows the use of high sensitivity resists required for the introduction of EUV HVM. Thus, to improve LCDU to a level required by 5 nm node and beyond, film stack deposition, EUV lithography, and plasma etch processes were combined and co-optimized to enhance LCDU reduction from synergies.

Test wafers were created by depositing a pattern transfer stack on a substrate representative of a 5 nm node target layer. The pattern transfer stack consisted of an atomically smooth adhesion layer and two hardmasks and was deposited using the Lam VECTOR PECVD product family. These layers were designed to mitigate hole roughness, absorb out-of-band radiation, and provide additional outlets for etch to improve LCDU and control hole CD. These wafers were then exposed through an ASML NXE3350B EUV scanner using a variety of advanced positive tone EUV CAR. They were finally etched to the target substrate using Lam Flex dielectric etch and Kiyo conductor etch systems. Metrology methodologies to assess dimensional metrics as well as chip performance and defectivity were investigated to enable repeatable patterning process development.

Illumination conditions in EUV lithography were optimized to improve normalized image log slope (NILS), which is expected to reduce shot noise related effects. It can be seen that the EUV imaging contrast improvement can further reduce post-develop LCDU from 4.1 nm to 3.9 nm and from 2.8 nm to 2.6 nm. In parallel, etch processes were developed to further reduce LCDU, to control CD, and to transfer these improvements into the final target substrate. We also demonstrate that increasing post-develop CD through dose adjustment can enhance the LCDU reduction from etch. Similar trends were also observed in different pitches down to 40 nm. The solutions demonstrated here are critical to the introduction of EUV lithography in high volume manufacturing. It can be seen that through a synergistic deposition, lithography, and etch optimization, LCDU at a 40 nm pitch can be improved to 1.6 nm (3-sigma) in a target oxide layer and to 1.4 nm (3-sigma) at the photoresist layer.
Conference Presentation
© (2017) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Andrew Liang, Andrew Liang, Jan Hermans, Jan Hermans, Timothy Tran, Timothy Tran, Katja Viatkina, Katja Viatkina, Chen-Wei Liang, Chen-Wei Liang, Brandon Ward, Brandon Ward, Steven Chuang, Steven Chuang, Jengyi Yu, Jengyi Yu, Greg Harm, Greg Harm, Jelle Vandereyken, Jelle Vandereyken, David Rio, David Rio, Michael Kubis, Michael Kubis, Samantha Tan, Samantha Tan, Mircea Dusa, Mircea Dusa, Akhil Singhal, Akhil Singhal, Bart van Schravendijk, Bart van Schravendijk, Girish Dixit, Girish Dixit, Nader Shamma, Nader Shamma, Rich Wise, Rich Wise, Sirish Reddy, Sirish Reddy, } "Integrated approach to improving local CD uniformity in EUV patterning", Proc. SPIE 10143, Extreme Ultraviolet (EUV) Lithography VIII, 1014319 (24 March 2017); doi: 10.1117/12.2258192; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2258192
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