10 April 2013 Manufacturing and advanced characterization of sub-25nm diameter CD-AFM probes with sub-10nm tip edges radius
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Abstract
Atomic force microscopy (AFM) is increasingly used in the semiconductor industry as a versatile monitoring tool for highly critical lithography and etching process steps. Applications range from the inspection of the surface roughness of new materials, over accurate depth measurements to the determination of critical dimension structures. The aim to address the rapidly growing demands on measurement uncertainty and throughput more and more shifts the focus of attention to the AFM tip, which represents the crucial link between AFM tool and the sample to be monitored. Consequently, in order to reach the AFM tool’s full potential, the performance of the AFM tip has to be considered as a determining parameter. Currently available AFM tips made from silicon are generally limited by their diameter, radius, and sharpness, considerably restricting the AFM measurement capabilities on sub-30nm spaces. In addition to that, there’s lack of adequate characterization structures to accurately characterize sub-25nm tip diameters. Here, we present and discuss a recently introduced AFM tip design (T-shape like design) with precise tip diameters down to 15nm and tip radii down to 5nm fabricated from amorphous, high density diamond-like carbon (HDC/DLC) using electron beam induced processing (EBIP). In addition to that advanced design, we propose a new characterizer structure, which allows for accurate characterization and design control of sub-25nm tip diameters and sub-10nm tip edges radii. We demonstrate the potential advantages of combining a small tip shape design, i.e. tip diameter and tip edge radius, and an advanced tip characterizer for the semiconductor industry by the measurement of advanced lithography patterns.
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Johann Foucher, Johann Foucher, Pavel Filippov, Pavel Filippov, Christian Penzkofer, Christian Penzkofer, Bernd Irmer, Bernd Irmer, Sebastian W. Schmidt, Sebastian W. Schmidt, } "Manufacturing and advanced characterization of sub-25nm diameter CD-AFM probes with sub-10nm tip edges radius", Proc. SPIE 8681, Metrology, Inspection, and Process Control for Microlithography XXVII, 86811I (10 April 2013); doi: 10.1117/12.2011451; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2011451
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