With every new process generation mask complexity and costs continue to increase, driving new requirements for
critical dimension control and mask qualification. Identifying and categorizing features to be measured and verified
during mask qualification has now become critical to ensure high yielding masks. Traditional line width and spacing
measurements are no longer sufficient for CD metrology systems. Next-generation CD-SEM systems and software tools
now include more complex mask metrology requirements including measurements of pitch, "ternary contact", corner
rounding, overlay, and line-edge roughness. Additionally these systems have started providing the capability for
multiple measurement sites within a single field-of-view.
In advanced mask production facilities, mask qualification recipes are commonly generated offline to improve the
quality and efficiency of such qualifications. Offline recipe generation has become even more important since new
process generations require an increasing number of measurements per mask. This paper describes offline recipe
generation procedures using CATS<sup>TM</sup> marking, also referred to as 'software tools' to utilize the new features of advanced
CD-SEM metrology systems.
Besides the metrology performance of a CD measurement tool, its close integration into a manufacturing environment becomes more and more important. This is extremely driven by the ever increasing complexity of masks and their tightening specifications. Hence, this calls for the capability of fully automated CD measurements on a large number of dense and isolated lines and 2-dimensional features under production conditions. In this paper we report on such a highly automated measurement system for CD measurements from MueTec. Either an ASCII software interface or a specially developed software interface to connect the MueTec <M5k> with the CATSTM mask data fracturing software handles the large amount of co-ordinates and other information like design images from the measurement sites and their surrounding, which are necessary for fully automated CD measurements. Because the latter is the standard in mask-making and data-formats, this level of automation guarantees a good industrial integration of the MueTec system. Fully automated and reliable CD measurements are based on very stable tool hardware and especially on a positioning stage with best possible positioning accuracy (range better 0.5 ?m), significantly improved possibilities of software controlled positioning and an automated job set up and execution. The time gain in relation to existing measurement programs in the extent of supply has turned out to be dramatically large. The User Interfaces and their applications will be described.