In our work we utilize etch tools (Lam Kiyo® conductor etch systems) with proprietary edge tuning technology that can be used to reduce the etch-related asymmetry at the wafer edge. In combination to this unique method, we evaluate the impact of high order corrections per exposure field to compensate for process asymmetry at the wafer edge with a state-of-the-art 1.35 NA immersion scanner (NXT:1970Ci).
The study is done on dedicated test wafers with 10-nm logic node design. We use angle-resolved scatterometry (YieldStar® S-250), atomic force microscopy, and SEM cross-sections to characterize process asymmetry. We present experimental investigation of the effect of etch tuning and scanner corrections on the pattern shift and the resulting overlay. In particular, we present results showing a reduction of etch-induced pattern shift by 12nm at wafer radius 147mm.
Results show that asymmetry can be addressed by both, litho compensation and etch tuning, and bring on-product overlay down to the required level. We discuss the benefit of the correction techniques especially for thick hard mask layers (the pattern shift scales linear with hard mask thickness) and evaluate a combined correction scenario, where preventive etch tuning and feed-back based scanner corrections are used. We conclude that a holistic tuning of all process steps will be required to fulfill overlay requirements of future nodes.