2 June 2003 Energy flux method for inspection of contact and VIA layer reticles
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Contacts and VIAs are features whose integrity are very susceptible to reticle CD defects or in general, to defects that produce a change of total energy (flux) projected through the reticle. As lithography is extended beyond the 130nm node, the problem becomes more critical. Detecting and analyzing photomask critical dimension (CD) errors and semitransparent defects is vital for qualifying reticles to enable high IC wafer yield for the 90nm node. The current state of the art inspection methods are unable to meet the industry requirements for contact and via features. Using the TeraStarTM pattern inspection system's image computer platform, a new algorithm, TeraFluxTM, has been implemented and tested for the inspection of small 'closed' features. The algorithm compares the transmitted energy flux difference between a test contact (or a group of contacts) and a reference image for small closed features, such as, contacts, trenches, and cells on chrome and half-tone reticles. The algorithm is applicable to both clear and dark field reticles. Sensitivity characterization tests show that the new algorithm provides CD error detection to 6% energy flux variation with low false defect counts. We performed experiments to correlate the sensitivity performance of the new algorithm with wafer printability results. The results will be presented together with results of inspections results of programmed defect plates and production reticles.
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Hector I. Garcia, Hector I. Garcia, William Waters Volk, William Waters Volk, Yalin Xiong, Yalin Xiong, Sterling G. Watson, Sterling G. Watson, Zongchang Yu, Zongchang Yu, Zhian Guo, Zhian Guo, Lantian Wang, Lantian Wang, } "Energy flux method for inspection of contact and VIA layer reticles", Proc. SPIE 5038, Metrology, Inspection, and Process Control for Microlithography XVII, (2 June 2003); doi: 10.1117/12.504577; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.504577

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