25 March 2016 Design-based metrology: beyond CD/EPE metrics to evaluate printability performance
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Abstract
Process-window (PW) evaluation is critical to assess the lithography process quality and limitations. Usual CD-based PW gives only a partial answer. Simulations such as Tachyon LMC (Lithography Manufacturability Check) can efficiently overcome this limitation by analyzing the entire predicted resist contours. But so far experimental measurements did not allow such flexibility. This paper shows an innovative experimental flow, which allows the user to directly validate LMC results across PW for a select group of reference patterns, thereby overcoming the limitations found in the traditional CD-based PW analysis. To evaluate the process window on wafer more accurately, we take advantage of design based metrology and extract experimental contours from the CD-SEM measurements. Then we implement an area metric to quantify the area coverage of the experimental contours with respect to the intended ones, using a defined “sectorization” for the logic structures. This ‘sectorization’ aims to differentiate specific areas on the logic structures being analyzed, such as corners, line-ends, short and long lines. This way, a complete evaluation of the information contained in each CD-SEM picture is performed, without having to discard any information. This solution doesn’t look at the area coverage of an entire feature, but uses a ‘sectorization’ to differentiate specific feature areas such as corners, line-ends, short and long lines, and thus look at those area coverages. An assessment of resist model/OPC quality/process quality at sub nm-level accuracy is rendered possible.
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Sandip Halder, Julien Mailfert, Philippe Leray, David Rio, Yi-Hsing Peng, Bart Laenens, "Design-based metrology: beyond CD/EPE metrics to evaluate printability performance", Proc. SPIE 9778, Metrology, Inspection, and Process Control for Microlithography XXX, 97780W (25 March 2016); doi: 10.1117/12.2221894; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2221894
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