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20 October 2014 Increasing reticle inspection efficiency and reducing wafer printchecks at 14nm using automated defect classification and simulation
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IC fabs inspect critical masks on a regular basis to ensure high wafer yields. These requalification inspections are costly for many reasons including the capital equipment, system maintenance, and labor costs. In addition, masks typically remain in the “requal” phase for extended, non-productive periods of time. The overall “requal” cycle time in which reticles remain non-productive is challenging to control. Shipping schedules can slip when wafer lots are put on hold until the master critical layer reticle is returned to production. Unfortunately, substituting backup critical layer reticles can significantly reduce an otherwise tightly controlled process window adversely affecting wafer yields. One major requal cycle time component is the disposition process of mask inspections containing hundreds of defects. Not only is precious non-productive time extended by reviewing hundreds of potentially yield-limiting detections, each additional classification increases the risk of manual review techniques accidentally passing real yield limiting defects. Even assuming all defects of interest are flagged by operators, how can any person's judgment be confident regarding lithographic impact of such defects? The time reticles spend away from scanners combined with potential yield loss due to lithographic uncertainty presents significant cycle time loss and increased production costs An automatic defect analysis system (ADAS), which has been in fab production for numerous years, has been improved to handle the new challenges of 14nm node automate reticle defect classification by simulating each defect’s printability under the intended illumination conditions. In this study, we have created programmed defects on a production 14nm node critical-layer reticle. These defects have been analyzed with lithographic simulation software and compared to the results of both AIMS optical simulation and to actual wafer prints.
© (2014) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Shazad Paracha, Eliot Goodman, Benjamin G. Eynon, Ben F. Noyes III, Steven Ha, Jong-Min Kim, Dong-Seok Lee, Dong-Heok Lee, Sang-Soo Cho, Young M. Ham, Anthony D. Vacca, Peter J. Fiekowsky, and Daniel I. Fiekowsky "Increasing reticle inspection efficiency and reducing wafer printchecks at 14nm using automated defect classification and simulation", Proc. SPIE 9235, Photomask Technology 2014, 92350Q (20 October 2014);

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