A prototype of a digital video storage system (CD-watcher) has been developed and attached to a Hitachi S-9380 CD-SEM. The storage system has several modes that are selectable depending on the phenomenon of interest. The system can store video images of duration from a few seconds to a few weeks depending on resolution, sampling rate, and hard disc drive capacity.
The system was used to analyze apparent focusing problems that occurred during the execution of automated recipes. Intermittent focusing problems had been an issue on a particular tool for a period of approximately three months. By reviewing saved images, the original diagnosis of the problem appeared to be auto focus. Two days after installation, the CD-watcher system was able to record the errors making it possible to determine the root cause by checking the stored video files. After analysis of the stored video files, it was apparent that the problem consisted of three types of errors. The ability to record and store video files reduced the time to isolate the problem and prevented incorrect diagnosis.
The system was also used to explain a complex phenomenon that occurred during the observation a particular layer. Because it is sometimes difficult to accurately describe, and to have others easily understand, certain phenomena in a written report, the video storage system can be used in place of manual annotation.
In this report, we describe the CD-watcher system, test results after installing the system on a Hitachi S9380 CD-SEM, and potential applications of the system.