In this work, capabilities of scatterometry at various steps of the self-aligned quadruple patterning (SAQP) process flow for 7nm (N7) technology node are demonstrated including the pitch walk measurement on the final fin etch step. The scatterometry solutions for each step are verified using reference metrology and the capability to follow the planned process design-of-experiment (DOE) and the sensitivity to catch the small process variations are demonstrated. Pitch walk, which is pitch variation in the four line/space (L/S) populations, is one of the main process challenges for SAQP. Scatterometry, which is a versatile optical technique for critical dimensions (CD) and shape metrology, can find the direct measurement of pitch walk challenging because it is a very weak parameter. In this work, the pitch walk measurement is managed via scatterometry using an advanced technique of parallel interpretation of scatterometry pads with varying pitches. The three populations of trenches could be clearly distinguished with the scatterometry and the consistency with the reference data and with the process DOE are presented. In addition, the root cause of the within-wafer non-uniformity of fin CD is determined. The measurements were done on-site at IMEC as a part of the process development and control of the IMEC SAQP processes . All in all, in this work it is demonstrated that scatterometry is capable of monitoring each process step of FEOL SAQP and it can measure three different space populations separately and extract pitch walk information at the final fin etch step.
Computational metrology target design requires both an accurate metrology simulation engine and an accurate geometric model. This paper deals with the later. Optical critical dimension metrology and cross-section SEM are demonstrated as two useful methods of geometric model verification with differing capabilities. Specifically, a methodology is proposed which allows the metrology engineer to quantify the level of accuracy required by the model as a function of the tolerable uncertainty in the prediction of metrology performance metrics. The methodology identifies a subset of model parameters which need to be verified enabling the metrology engineer to invest the minimum effort in stack and topography verification which will lead to performing target designs on the first design round.
Directed Self Assembly (DSA) for contact layers is a challenging process in need of reliable metrology for tight process control. Key parameters of interest are guide CD, polymer CD, and residual polymer thickness at the bottom of the guide cavity. We show that Optical CD (OCD) provides the needed performance for DSA contact metrology. The measurement, done with a multi-channel spectroscopic reflectometry (SR) system, is enhanced through elements of a Holistic Metrology approach such as Injection and Hybrid Metrology.
Directed self-assembly (DSA) and nanoimprint lithography (NIL) have been widely developed for low-cost nanoscale patterning. Although they are currently regarded as "alternative lithography," some papers show their potential to be candidates for next-generation lithography (NGL). To actualize the potential, the contribution of metrology engineers is necessary. Since the characteristics of the lithography techniques are different from those of conventional lithography, new metrology schemes correlated with each characteristic are required. In DSA of block copolymer (BCP), a guide is needed to control the direction and position of BCP. Therefore, it is necessary to monitor the relationship between the guide and the BCP pattern. Since the depth of guide or the coating thickness variation of BCP over guide influences the behavior of phase separation of BCP, 3D metrology becomes increasingly important. In NIL, residual resist thickness (RLT) underneath the pattern should be measured because its variation affects the CD variation of transferred pattern. 3D metrology is also important in NIL. Optical critical dimension (OCD) metrology will be a powerful tool for 3D metrology. In this work, some applications of OCD for alternative lithography have been studied. For DSA, we have tried to simultaneously monitor the guide and BCP pattern in a DSA-based contact hole shrinking process. Sufficient measurement accuracy for CD and shapes for guide and BCP patterns was achievable. For NIL, sufficient sensitivity to RLT measurement was obtained.