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8 June 1998 Plasma etch process characterization: an application of atomic force microscopy
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With the progress of deep sub-micron semiconductor technology, metrology becomes more critical for plasma etch process development and characterization. Small feature line width, height/depth, and sidewall profile are all important parameters to characterize. The difficulty of accurately and efficiently measure these parameters has become a big challenge to the current metrology tools. Atomic force microscope (AFM) is an attractive alternative metrology tool to meet these challenges in plasma etch process characterization. A Veeco Dektak SXM atomic force microscope is used in this study and several AFM applications in plasma etch process characterization are developed. In shallow trench isolation trench etch process, AFM is used for etch uniformity, etch microloading, and trench profile characterization down to 0.200 micrometer trench geometry. In gate etch process, AFM is used for gate critical dimension (CD) measurement and gate etch profile measurement. The results correspond well with the normal metrology approach. The applications of AFM in local interconnect etch and metal etch are also discussed.
© (1998) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Wenge Yang and Bhanwar Singh "Plasma etch process characterization: an application of atomic force microscopy", Proc. SPIE 3332, Metrology, Inspection, and Process Control for Microlithography XII, (8 June 1998);

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