28 March 2017 A pattern-based method to automate mask inspection files
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Abstract
Mask inspection is a critical step in the mask manufacturing process in order to ensure all dimensions printed are within the needed tolerances. This becomes even more challenging as the device nodes shrink and the complexity of the tapeout increases. Thus, the amount of measurement points and their critical dimension (CD) types are increasing to ensure the quality of the mask. In addition to the mask quality, there is a significant amount of manpower needed when the preparation and debugging of this process are not automated. By utilizing a novel pattern search technology with the ability to measure and report match region scan-line (edge) measurements, we can create a flow to find, measure and mark all metrology locations of interest and provide this automated report to the mask shop for inspection. A digital library is created based on the technology product and node which contains the test patterns to be measured. This paper will discuss how these digital libraries will be generated and then utilized. As a time-critical part of the manufacturing process, this can also reduce the data preparation cycle time, minimize the amount of manual/human error in naming and measuring the various locations, reduce the risk of wrong/missing CD locations, and reduce the amount of manpower needed overall. We will also review an example pattern and how the reporting structure to the mask shop can be processed. This entire process can now be fully automated.
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Ezni Aznida Binti Kamal Baharin, Mohamad Fahmi Bin Muhsain, Muhamad Asraf Bin Ahmad Ibrahim, Ahmad Nurul Ihsan Bin Ahmad Noorhani, Jason Sweis, Ya-Chieh Lai, Philippe Hurat, "A pattern-based method to automate mask inspection files", Proc. SPIE 10145, Metrology, Inspection, and Process Control for Microlithography XXXI, 101452Q (28 March 2017); doi: 10.1117/12.2260976; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2260976
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