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8 March 2016 Optimizing noise for defect analysis with through-focus scanning optical microscopy
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Through-focus scanning optical microscopy (TSOM) shows promise for patterned defect analysis, but it is important to minimize total system noise. TSOM is a three-dimensional shape metrology method that can achieve sub-nanometer measurement sensitivity by analyzing sets of images acquired through-focus using a conventional optical microscope. Here we present a systematic noise-analysis study for optimizing data collection and data processing parameters for TSOM and then demonstrate how the optimized parameters affect defect analysis. We show that the best balance between signalto- noise performance and acquisition time can be achieved by judicious spatial averaging. Correct background-signal subtraction of the imaging-system inhomogeneities is also critical, as well as careful alignment of the constituent images used in differential TSOM analysis.
© (2016) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Ravikiran Attota and John Kramar "Optimizing noise for defect analysis with through-focus scanning optical microscopy", Proc. SPIE 9778, Metrology, Inspection, and Process Control for Microlithography XXX, 977811 (8 March 2016);

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