11 May 2009 A new approach to reticle haze defect management in the fab
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Proceedings Volume 7379, Photomask and Next-Generation Lithography Mask Technology XVI; 73791H (2009) https://doi.org/10.1117/12.824294
Event: Photomask and NGL Mask Technology XVI, 2009, Yokohama, Japan
Abstract
The present practice of managing reticle haze defectivity involves reticle inspection at regular intervals, coupled with inspection of print-down wafers in between reticle inspections. The sensitivity of the reticle inspection tool allows it to detect haze defects before they are large enough to print on the wafer. Cleaning the reticle as soon as the reticle inspector detects haze defects could result in a shorter reticle lifetime. Thus there is strong motivation to develop a methodology to determine what size defect on the reticle results in a printable defect on the wafer. Printability depends upon several variables in the litho process as well as whether the defect resides in a high-MEEF (Mask Error Enhancement Factor) or low-MEEF area of the die.1 Trying to use wafer inspection to identify the first appearance of haze defects may require inspector recipe settings that are not suited to a practical wafer scan. A novel method of managing such defects is to map the coordinates of the defects from the reticle onto the wafer, and apply a separate, hyper-sensitive threshold to a small area surrounding the given coordinates. With this method, one can start to correlate the size of the defects printed on the wafer to the light transmission rate from the corresponding site on the reticle scan, and thus can predict the starting point at which the haze defects on the reticle are likely to print on the wafer. The experiment described in this paper is a first step in exploring the feasibility of this method to help track the growth of nascent haze defects and optimize the timing to rework the reticles. The methodology may have extendibility to other applications in which hyper-sensitive wafer inspection at localized areas within the die would be beneficial, such as monitoring weak spots found by Optical Rule Check, Process Window Qualification, electrical test or failure analysis.
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Yeu-Dong Gau, Kevin Hsiao, Wen-Hao Hsu, Yu-Min Lu, Chun-Chieh Chen, Chen Min Liu, Mike Van Riet, Noah Gaspar, Chien-Chun Yu, Phillip Chan, "A new approach to reticle haze defect management in the fab", Proc. SPIE 7379, Photomask and Next-Generation Lithography Mask Technology XVI, 73791H (11 May 2009); doi: 10.1117/12.824294; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.824294
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