In recent years, lithographic printability of overlay metrology targets for memory applications has emerged as a significant issue. Lithographic illumination conditions such as extreme dipole, required to achieve the tightest possible pitches in DRAM pose a significant process window challenge to the metrology target design. Furthermore, the design is also required to track scanner aberration induced pattern placement errors of the device structure. Previous workiii, has shown that the above requirements have driven a design optimization methodology which needs to be tailored for every lithographic and integration scheme, in particular self-aligned double and quadruple patterning methods. In this publication we will report on the results of a new target design technique and show some example target structures which, while achieving the requirements specified above, address a further critical design criterion – that of process resilience.
Technology shrinkage leads to tight specifications in advanced semiconductor industries. For several years’, metrology for lithography has been a key technology to address this challenge and to improve yield. More specifically overlay metrology is the object of special attention for tool suppliers and semiconductor manufacturers. This work focuses on Image Based Overlay (IBO) metrology for 28 nm FD-SOI CMOS front-end critical steps (gate and contact). With Overlay specifications below 10 nm, accuracy of the measurement is critical. In this study we show specific cases where target designs need to be optimized in order to minimize process effects (CMP, etch, deposition, etc.) that could lead to overlay measurement errors. Another important aspect of the metrology target is that its design must be device-like in order to better control and correct overlay errors leading to yield loss. Methodologies to optimize overlay metrology recipes are also presented. If the process effects cannot be removed entirely by target design optimization, recipe parameters have to be carefully chosen and controlled to minimize the influence of the target imperfection on measured overlay. With target asymmetry being one of the main contributors to those residual overlay measurement errors the Qmerit accuracy flag can be used to quantify the measurement error and recipe parameters can be set accordingly in order to minimize the target asymmetry impact. Reference technique measurements (CD-SEM) were used to check accuracy of the optimized overlay measurements.
We present a metrology target design (MTD) framework based on co-optimizing lithography and metrology performance. The overlay metrology performance is strongly related to the target design and optimizing the target under different process variations in a high NA optical lithography tool and measurement conditions in a metrology tool becomes critical for sub-20nm nodes. The lithography performance can be quantified by device matching and printability metrics, while accuracy and precision metrics are used to quantify the metrology performance. Based on using these metrics, we demonstrate how the optimized target can improve target printability while maintaining the good metrology performance for rotated dipole illumination used for printing a sub-100nm diagonal feature in a memory active layer. The remaining challenges and the existing tradeoff between metrology and lithography performance are explored with the metrology target designer’s perspective. The proposed target design framework is completely general and can be used to optimize targets for different lithography conditions. The results from our analysis are both physically sensible and in good agreement with experimental results.
We demonstrate a novel method to establish a root cause for an overlay excursion using optical Scatterometry metrology. Scatterometry overlay metrology consists of four cells (two per directions) of grating on grating structures that are illuminated with a laser and diffracted orders measured in the pupil plane within a certain range of aperture. State of art algorithms permit, with symmetric considerations over the targets, to extract the overlay between the two gratings. We exploit the optical properties of the target to extract further information from the measured pupil images, particularly information that maybe related to any change in the process that may lead to an overlay excursion. Root Cause Analysis or RCA is being developed to identify different kinds of process variations (either within the wafer, or between different wafers) that may indicate overlay excursions. In this manuscript, we demonstrate a collaboration between Globalfoundries and KLA-Tencor to identify a symmetric process variation using scatterometry overlay metrology and RCA technique.
We present a novel metrology target design framework using the scanner exit pupil wavefront analysis together with Zernike sensitivity analysis (ZSA) based on the Monte-Carlo technique. The proposed method enables the design of robust metrology targets that maximize target process window (PW) while minimizing placement error discrepancies with device features in the presence of spatial and temporal variation of the aberration characteristics of an exposure tool. Knowing the limitations of lithography systems, design constraints, and detailed lithography information including illumination, mask type, etc., we can successfully design an optimal metrology target. We have validated our new metrology target design (MTD) method for one of the challenging DRAM active layer consisting of diagonal line and space patterns illuminated by a rotated extreme dipole source. We find that an optimal MTD target gives the maximized PW and the strong device correlation, resulting in the dramatic improvement of overall overlay performance. The proposed target design framework is completely general and can be used to optimize targets for different lithography conditions. The results from our analysis are both physically sensible and in good agreement with experimental results.
Advanced design nodes require more complex lithography techniques, such as double patterning, as well as advanced
materials like hard masks. This poses new challenge for overlay metrology and process control. In this publication
several step are taken to face these challenges. Accurate overlay metrology solutions are demonstrated for advanced
Overlay in lithography becomes much more challenging due to the shrink of device node and multi-patterning approach. Consequently, the specification of overlay becomes tighter, and more complicated overlay control methods like high order or field-by-field control become mandatory. In addition, the tight overlay specification starts to raise another fundamental question: accuracy. Overlay inaccuracy is dominated by two main components: one is measurement quality and the other is representing device overlay. The latter is because overlay is being measured on overlay targets, not on the real device structures. We investigated the following for accurate overlay measurement: optimal target design by simulation; optimal recipe selection using the index of measurement quality; and, the correlation with device pattern’s overlay.
Simulation was done for an advanced memory stack for optimal overlay target design which provides robustness for the process variation and sufficient signal for the stack. Robustness factor and sufficient signal factor sometimes contradicting each other, therefore there is trade-off between these two factors. Simulation helped to find the design to meet the requirement of both factors. The investigation involves also recipe optimization which decides the measurement conditions like wavelength. KLA-Tencor also introduced a new index which help to find an accurate measurement condition. In this investigation, we used CD-SEM to measure the overlay of device pattern after etch or decap process to check the correlation between the overlay of overlay mark and the overlay of device pattern.
Persistently shrinking design rules and increasing process complexity require tight overlay control thereby making it imperative to choose the most suitable overlay measurement technique and complementary target design. In this paper we describe an assessment of various target designs from FEOL to BEOL on 20-nm process. Both scatterometry and imaging based methodology were reviewed for several key layers on A500LCM tool, which enables the use of both technologies. Different sets of targets were carefully designed and printed, taking into consideration the process and optical properties of each layer. The optimal overlay target for a given layer was chosen based on its measurement performance.
In the current paper we are addressing three questions relevant for accuracy: 1. Which target design has the best performance and depicts the behavior of the actual device? 2. Which metrology signal characteristics could help to distinguish between the target asymmetry related overlay shift and the real process related shift? 3. How does uncompensated asymmetry of the reference layer target, generated during after-litho processes, affect the propagation of overlay error through different layers? We are presenting the correlation between simulation data based on the optical properties of the measured stack and KLA-Tencor’s Archer overlay measurements on a 28nm product through several critical layers for those accuracy aspects.
The performance of overlay metrology as total measurement uncertainty, design rule compatibility, device correlation, and measurement accuracy has been challenged at the 2× nm node and below. The process impact on overlay metrology is becoming critical, and techniques to improve measurement accuracy become increasingly important. We present a methodology for improving the overlay accuracy. A propriety quality metric, Qmerit, is used to identify overlay metrology measurement settings with the least process impacts and reliable accuracies. Using the quality metric, a calibration method, Archer self-calibration, is then used to remove the inaccuracies. Accuracy validation can be achieved by correlation to reference overlay data from another independent metrology source such as critical dimension–scanning electron microscopy data collected on a device correlated metrology hybrid target or by electrical testing. Additionally, reference metrology can also be used to verify which measurement conditions are the most accurate. We provide an example of such a case.
One of the main issues with accuracy is the bias between the overlay (OVL) target and actual device OVL. In this study, we introduce the concept of device-correlated metrology (DCM), which is a systematic approach to quantify and overcome the bias between target-based OVL results and device OVL values. In order to systematically quantify the bias components between target and device, we introduce a new hybrid target integrating an optical OVL target with a device mimicking critical dimension scanning electron microscope (CD-SEM) target. The hybrid OVL target is designed to accurately represent the process influence on the actual device. In the general case, the CD-SEM can measure the bias between the target and device on the same layer after etch inspection (AEI) for all layers, the OVL between layers at AEI for most cases and after develop inspection for limited cases such as double-patterning layers. The results have shown that for the innovative process compatible hybrid targets the bias between the target and device is small, within the order of CD-SEM noise. Direct OVL measurements by CD-SEM show excellent correlation between CD-SEM and optical OVL measurements at certain conditions. This correlation helps verify the accuracy of the optical measurement results and is applicable for the imaging base OVL method using several target types advance imaging metrology, advance imaging metrology in die OVL, and the scatterometrybase OVL method. Future plans include broadening the hybrid target design to better mimic each layer process conditions such as pattern density. Additionally, for memory devices we are developing hybrid targets which enable other methods of accuracy verification.
As overlay margins shrink for advanced process nodes, a key overlay metrology challenge is finding the measurement conditions which optimize the yield for every device and layer. Ideally, this setup should be found in-line during the lithography measurements step. Moreover, the overlay measurement must have excellent correlation to the device electrical behavior. This requirement makes the measurement conditions selection even more challenging since it requires information about the response of both the metrology target and device to different process variations. In this work a comprehensive solution for overlay metrology accuracy, used by UMC, is described. This solution ranks the different measurement setups by their accuracy, using Qmerit, as reported by the Archer 500. This ranking was verified to match device overlay using electrical tests. Moreover, the use of Archer Self Calibration (ASC) allows further improvement of overlay measurement accuracy.
Overlay metrology performance as Total Measurement Uncertainty (TMU), design rule compatibility, device correlation and measurement accuracy are been challenged at 2x nm node and below. Process impact on overlay metrology becoming critical, and techniques to improve measurement accuracy becomes increasingly important. In this paper, we present an innovative methodology for improving overlay accuracy. A propriety quality metric, Qmerit, is used to identify overlay metrology measurement settings with least process impacts and reliable accuracies. Using the quality metric, an innovative calibration method, ASC (Archer Self Calibration) is then used to remove the inaccuracies. Accuracy validation can be achieved by correlation to reference overlay data from another independent metrology source such as CDSEM data collected on DCM (Device Correlated Metrology) hybrid target or electrical testing. Additionally, reference metrology can also be used to verify which measurement conditions are the most accurate. In this paper we bring an example of such use case.
One of the main issues with overlay error metrology accuracy is the bias between results based on overlay (OVL) targets and actual device overlay error. In this study, we introduce the concept of Device Correlated Metrology (DCM), which is a systematic approach to quantifying and overcoming the bias between target-based overlay results and device overlay issues. For systematically quantifying the bias components between target and device, we introduce a new hybrid target integrating an optical OVL target with a device mimicking CD-SEM (Critical Dimension – Scanning Electron Microscope) target. The hybrid OVL target is designed to accurately represent the process influence found on the real device. In the general case, the CD-SEM can measure the bias between target and device on the same layer at AEI (After Etch Inspection) for all layers, the OVL between layers at AEI for most cases and at ADI (After Develop Inspection) for limited cases such as DPL (Double Patterning Lithography). The results shown demonstrate that for the new process compatible hybrid targets the bias between target and device is small, of the order of CD-SEM measurement uncertainty. Direct OVL measurements by CD-SEM show excellent correlation with optical OVL measurements in certain conditions. This correlation helps verify the accuracy of the optical measurement results and is applicable for imaging based OVL metrology methods using AIM or AIMid OVL targets, and scatterometry-based overlay methods such as SCOL (Scatterometry OVL). Future plans include broadening the hybrid target design to better mimic each layer’s process conditions such as pattern density. We are also designing hybrid targets for memory devices.