Improving wafer On Product Overlay (OPO) is becoming a major challenge in lithography, especially for multipatterning techniques like N-repetitive Litho-Etch steps (LEN, N ≥ 2). When using different scanner settings and litho processes between inter-layer overlays, intra-field overlay control becomes more complicated. In addition to the Image Placement Error (IPE) contribution, the TWINSCANTM lens fingerprint in combination with the exposure settings is playing a significant role as well. Furthermore the scanner needs to deal with dynamic fingerprints caused by for instance lens and/or reticle heating.
This paper will demonstrate the complementary RegC® and TWINSCANTM solution for improving the OPO by cooptimizing the correction capabilities of the individual tools, respectively. As a consequence, the systematic intra-field fingerprints can be decreased along with the overlay (OVL) error at wafer level. Furthermore, the application could be utilized for extending some of the scanner actuators ranges by inducing a pre-determined signatures. These solutions perfectly fit into the ASML Litho InSight (LIS) product in which feedforward and feedback corrections based on YieldStar overlay and other measurements are used to improve the OPO. While the TWINSCANTM scanner corrects for global distortions (up to third order) - scanner Correctable Errors ( CE), the RegC® application can correct for the None Correctable Errors (NCE) by making the high frequency NCE into a CE with low frequency nature. The RegC® induces predictable deformation elements inside the quartz (Qz) material of the reticle, and by doing so it can induce a desired pre-defined signature into the reticle. The deformation introduced by the RegC® is optimized for the actual wafer print taking into account the scale and ortho compensation by the scanner, to correct for the systematic fingerprints and the wafer overlay. These two applications might be very powerful and could contribute to achieve a better OPO performance.
The on product overlay specification and Advanced Process Control (APC) is getting extremely challenging particularly after the introduction of multi-patterning applications like Spacer Assisted Double Patterning (SADP) and multipatterning techniques like N-repetitive Litho-Etch steps (LEN, N ≥ 2). When the latter is considered, most of the intrafield overlay contributors drop out of the overlay budget. This is a direct consequence of the fact that the scanner settings (like dose, illumination settings, etc.) as well as the subsequent processing steps can be made very similar for two consecutive Litho-Etch layers. The major overlay contributor that may require additional attention is the Image Placement Error (IPE). When the inter-layer overlay is considered, controlling the intra-field overlay contribution gets more complicated. In addition to the IPE contribution, the TWINSCANTM lens fingerprint in combination with the exposure settings is going to play a role as well. Generally speaking, two subsequent functional layers have different exposure settings. This results in a (non-reticle) additional overlay contribution.
In this paper, we have studied the wafer overlay correction capability by RegC® in addition to the TWINSCANTM intrafield corrections to improve the on product overlay performance. RegC® is a reticle intra-volume laser writing technique that causes a predictable deformation element (RegC® deformation element) inside the quartz (Qz) material of a reticle. This technique enables to post-process an existing reticle to correct for instance for IPE. Alternatively, a pre-determined intra-field fingerprint can be added to the reticle such that it results in a straight field after exposure. This second application might be very powerful to correct for instance for (cold) lens fingerprints that cannot be corrected by the scanner itself. Another possible application is the intra-field processing fingerprint. One should realize that a RegC® treatment of a reticle generally results in global distortion of the reticle. This is not a problem as long as these global distortions can be corrected by the TWINSCANTM system (currently up to the third order). It is anticipated that the combination of the RegC® and the TWINSCANTM corrections act as complementary solutions. These solutions perfectly fit into the ASML Litho InSight (LIS) product in which feedforward and feedback corrections based on YieldStar overlay measurements are used to improve the on product overlay.
Mask registration control is one of the key performance specifications during the mask qualification process. It is
becoming an important factor for yield improvement with the continuously tightening registration specs driven by tight
wafer overlay specs. Understanding the impact of miss classified masks on the final wafer yield is gaining more and
more attention, especially with the appearance of Multiple Patterning Technologies, where mask to mask overlay effect
on wafer is heavily influenced by mask registration.
ZEISS has established a promising closed loop solution implemented in the mask house, where the PROVE® system – a
highly accurate mask registration and overlay metrology measurement tool, is being used to feed the RegC® - a
registration and mask to mask overlay correction tool that can also accurately predict the correction potential in advance.
The well-established RegC® process typically reaches 40-70% improvement of the mask registration/overlay error
standard deviation. The PROVE® - RegC® closed loop solution has several advantages over alternative registration
control methods apart of the mask re-write saving. Among the advantages is the capability to correct for pellicle
mounting registration effects without the need to remove the pellicle.
This paper will demonstrate improved method for enhanced mask to mask overlay control based on a new scheme of
data acquisition and performance validation by the PROVE®. The mask registration data as well as additional mask
information will be used to feed the RegC® correction process. Significantly improved mask to mask overlay correction
results will be discussed and presented in details.