Imprint lithography has been included on the ITRS Lithography Roadmap at the 32 and 22 nm nodes. Step and Flash Imprint Lithography (S-FILTM) is a unique method for printing sub-100 nm geometries. Relative to other imprinting processes S-FIL has the advantage that the template is transparent, thereby facilitating conventional overlay techniques. Further, S-FIL provides sub-100 nm feature resolution without the significant expense of multi-element, high quality projection optics or advanced illumination sources. However, since the technology is 1X, it is critical to address the infrastructure associated with the fabrication of templates.
With respect to inspection, although defects as small as 70 nm have been detected using optical techniques, it is clear that it will be necessary to take advantage of the resolution capabilities of electron beam inspection techniques. The challenge is in inspecting templates composed purely of fused silica. This paper reports the inspection of both fused silica wafers and plates. The die-to-database inspection of the wafers was performed on an NGR2100 inspection system. Fused silica plates were inspected using an NGR4000 system.
Three different experiments were performed. In the first study, Metal 1 and Logic patterns as small as 40 nm were patterned on a 200 mm fused silica wafer. The patterns were inspected using an NGR2100 die-to-database inspection system. In the second experiment, a 6025 fused silica plate was employed. Patterns with a limited field of view (FOV) were inspected using an NGR4000 reticle-based system. To test the tool's capability for larger FOVs, 16 × 16 μm areas on a MoSi half tone plate were scanned and stitched together to evaluate the tool's ability to reliably do die-to-database comparisons across larger inspection areas.