24 March 2006 In-chip optical CD measurements for non-volatile memory devices
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A potential limitation to a wider usage of the scatterometry technique for CD evaluation comes from its requirement of dedicated regular measurement gratings, located in wafer scribe lanes. In fact, the simplification of the original chip layout that is often requested to design these gratings may impact on their printed dimension and shape. Etched gratings might also suffer from micro-loading effects other than in the circuit. For all these reasons, measurements collected therein may not represent the real behavior of the device. On the other hand, memory devices come with large sectors that usually possess the characteristics required for a proper scatterometry evaluation. In particular, for a leading edge flash process this approach is in principle feasible for the most critical process steps. The impact of potential drawbacks, mainly lack of pattern regularity within the tool probe area, is investigated. More, a very large sampling plan on features with equal nominal CD and density spread over the same exposure shot becomes feasible, thus yielding a deeper insight of the overall lithographic process window and a quantitative method to evaluate process equipment performance along time by comparison to acceptance data and/or last preventive maintenance. All the results gathered in the device main array are compared to those collected in standard scatterometry targets, tailored to the characteristics of the considered layers in terms of designed CD, pitch, stack and orientation.
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Mauro Vasconi, Mauro Vasconi, Stephanie Kremer, Stephanie Kremer, M. Polli, M. Polli, Ermes Severgnini, Ermes Severgnini, Silvia S. Trovati, Silvia S. Trovati, } "In-chip optical CD measurements for non-volatile memory devices", Proc. SPIE 6152, Metrology, Inspection, and Process Control for Microlithography XX, 61520D (24 March 2006); doi: 10.1117/12.650997; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.650997

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