Chemical-mechanical polishing (CMP) is a key process that reduces chip topography variation during manufacturing. Any variation outside of specifications can cause hotspots, which negatively impact yield. As technology moves forward, especially in memory processes like 3D NAND, high-quality surface planarity is required to overcome manufacturing challenges in each process step. Any topography variation in the front-end-of-line (FEOL) must be taken into consideration, as it may dramatically impact the surface planarity achieved by subsequent manufacturing steps. Rule-based checking of the design is not sufficient to discover all potential CMP hotspots. An accurate FEOL CMP model is necessary to predict design-induced CMP hotspots and optimize the use of dummy fill to alleviate manufacturing challenges. While back-end-of-line (BEOL) CMP modeling technology has matured in recent years, FEOL CMP modeling is still facing multiple challenges. This paper describes how an accurate FEOL CMP model may be built, and how interlayer dielectric (ILD) layer CMP simulations may be used for 3D NAND design improvement. In the example of ILD CMP model validation for a 3D NAND product, it is shown that the model predictions match well with the silicon data and that the model may successfully be used for hotspot prediction in production designs prior to manufacturing.
Proc. SPIE. 10962, Design-Process-Technology Co-optimization for Manufacturability XIII
KEYWORDS: Data modeling, Copper, Manufacturing, Chemical vapor deposition, 3D modeling, Semiconducting wafers, Process modeling, Chemical mechanical planarization, Back end of line, Design for manufacturability
Vertical NAND (3D NAND) designs provide unprecedented improvements in input/output (I/O) performance and storage density, but require additional analysis to ensure manufacturing and market success. While 3D stacked architectures greatly reduce chip area at advanced technology nodes, greater topology uniformity is essential, not only for inter-layers stacking, but also for the chip bonding process. As the link between design and manufacturing, design for manufacturing (DFM) predicts potential manufacturing issues during the design stage, enabling design teams to modify the layout and mitigate the risk. The copper interconnect process can be modeled through multiple process steps, from film stacking, etch, and copper deposition to polishing. The simulated topology of a given design predicts potential risky areas that may be fixed by changing designs or inserting dummy fill prior to manufacturing. This simulation is a useful technique during yield ramp-up, and can shorten the cycle from design to manufacturing. This paper presents a solution for BEOL CMP modeling and analysis on BEOL copper interconnect of a 3D NAND flow.