A line grating prepared via a self-aligned quadruple patterning method was measured using critical dimension small angle x-ray scattering. A Monte Carlo Markov chain algorithm was used to analyze the uncertainty of the model fit over subsets of the full angular range and for a time series with decreasing signal-to-noise in order to determine the effect of the data quality on the final profile shape uncertainty. These results show how the total measurement time can be reduced while maintaining satisfactory profile shape uncertainty. We found that the typical measurement conditions are highly oversampled and can be reduced considerably with only marginal effect on the shape uncertainty. A comparison is made between the synchrotron measurements and a laboratory system, demonstrating that both measurements result in similar structures.
Proc. SPIE. 9050, Metrology, Inspection, and Process Control for Microlithography XXVIII
KEYWORDS: Electron beams, Metrology, 3D modeling, Scanning electron microscopy, Transmission electron microscopy, Monte Carlo methods, 3D metrology, Process control, Model-based design, 3D image processing
The shape and dimensions of a challenging pattern have been measured using a model-based library scanning electron microscope (MBL SEM) technique. The sample consisted of a 4-line repeating pattern. Lines were narrow (10 nm), asymmetric (different edge angles and significant rounding on one corner but not the other), and situated in a complex neighborhood, with neighboring lines as little as 10 nm or as much as 28 nm distant. The shape cross-section determined by this method was compared to transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and critical dimension small angle x-ray scattering (CD-SAXS) measurements of the same sample with good agreement. A recently-developed image composition method was used to obtain sharp SEM images, in which blur from vibration and drift were minimized. A Monte Carlo SEM simulator (JMONSEL) produced a model-based library that was interpolated to produce the best match to measured SEM images. Three geometrical and instrument parameterizations were tried. The first was a trapezoidal geometry. In the second one corner was significantly rounded. In the last, the electron beam was permitted to arrive with stray tilt. At each stage, the fit to the data improved by a statistically significant amount, demonstrating that the measurement remained sensitive to the new parameter. Because the measured values represent the average unit cell, the associated repeatabilities are at the tenths of a nanometer level, similar to scatterometry and other area-averaging techniques, but the SEM’s native high spatial resolution also permitted observation of defects and other local departures from the average.
Earlier [1, 2] work highlighted an integrated process for electrically functional 12 nm half-pitch copper interconnects in an ultralow-k interlayer dielectric (ILD). In this paper, we focus on understanding and reducing undesired effects such as pattern asymmetry/distortion, and line undulation/ collapse. Key defect modes and possible solution paths are discussed. <i>Line undulation</i> can occur when the ILD feature changes shape under the stress of the sacrificial hard mask(s) (HM) during patterning, resulting in “wavy” instead of straight features. The amount of undulation is directly related to mechanical properties such as elastic modulus, residual stresses of patterned HMs and the ILD, as well as the dimensions and aspect ratio of the features. <i>Line collapse</i> is observed post wet-clean processing when one or more of the following is true - Insufficient ILD mechanical strength, excessive pattern aspect ratio, or non-uniform drying. <i>Pattern asymmetry</i>, or unequal critical dimensions (CD) of trenches defined by the same backbone, is a typical problem encountered during spacer-based pitch division. In pitch quartering (P/4), three different trench widths result from small variations in backbone lithography, spacer CD and etch bias. Symmetric patterning can be achieved through rigorous control of patterning processes like backbone definition, spacer deposition and downstream etches. Plasma-based ash and energetic metal deposition were also observed to degrade patterning fidelity of ultra low-k film, and also need to be closely managed.