2 April 2014 SEM-contour shape analysis based on circuit structure for advanced systematic defect inspection
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We have developed a practicable measurement technique that can help to achieve reliable inspections for systematic defects in advanced semiconductor devices. Systematic defects occurring in the design and mask processes are a dominant component of integrated circuit yield loss in nano-scaled technologies. Therefore, it is essential to ensure systematic defects are detected at an early stage of wafer fabrication. In the past, printed pattern shapes have been evaluated by human eyes or by taking manual critical dimension (CD) measurements. However, these operations are sometimes unstable and inaccurate. Last year, we proposed a new technique for taking measurements by using a SEM contour [1]. This technique enables a highly precise quantification of various complex 2D shaped patterns by comparing a contour extracted from a SEM image using a CD measurement algorithm and an ideal pattern. We improved this technique to enable the carrying out of inspections suitable for every pattern structure required for minimizing the process margin. This technique quantifies a pattern shape of a target-layer pattern using information on a multi-layered circuit structure. This enabled it to confirm the existence of a critical defect in a circuit connecting upper/lower-layers. This paper describes the improved technique and the evaluation results obtained in evaluating it in detail.
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Yasutaka Toyoda, Yasutaka Toyoda, Hiroyuki Shindo, Hiroyuki Shindo, Yutaka Hojo, Yutaka Hojo, Daisuke Fuchimoto, Daisuke Fuchimoto, "SEM-contour shape analysis based on circuit structure for advanced systematic defect inspection", Proc. SPIE 9050, Metrology, Inspection, and Process Control for Microlithography XXVIII, 90502V (2 April 2014); doi: 10.1117/12.2046655; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2046655

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