Overlay process control is a critical aspect of integrated circuit manufacturing. Advanced DRAM manufacturing overlay error budget approaches the sub-2nm threshold, including all sources of overlay error: litho processing, non-litho processing, metrology error, etc. Overlay measurement quality, both for accuracy and robustness, depends on the metrology system and its recipe setup. The optimal configuration depends on the layer and materials involved. Increased flexibility of metrology setup is of paramount importance, paired with improved methods of recipe optimization. <p> </p>Both optical image-based overlay (IBO) and scatterometry diffraction overlay (SCOL®) are necessary tools for overlay control. For some devices and layers IBO provides the best accuracy and robustness, while on others SCOL provides optimum metrology. Historically, wavelength selection was limited to discrete wavelengths and at only a single wavelength. At advanced nodes IBO and SCOL require wavelength tunability and multiple wavelengths to optimize accuracy and robustness, as well as options for polarization and numerical aperture (NA). In previous studies<sup>1,2,3</sup> we investigated wavelength tunability analysis with landscape analysis, using analytic techniques to determine the optimal setup. In this report we show advancements in the landscape analysis technique for IBO through both focus and wavelength, and comparisons to SCOL. A key advantage of imaging is the ability to optimize wavelength on a per-layer basis. This can be a benefit for EUV layers in combination with those of 193i, for example, as well as other applications such as thick 3D NAND layers. The goal is to make accurate and robust overlay metrology that is immune from process stack variations, and to provide metrics that indicate the quality of metrology performance. Through both simulation and on-wafer advanced DRAM measurements, we show quantitative benefits of accuracy and robustness to process stack variability for IBO and SCOL applications. <p> </p>Methodologies described in this work can be achieved using Archer™ overlay metrology systems, ATL™ overlay metrology systems, and 5D Analyzer® advanced data analysis and patterning control solution.
As semiconductor manufacturing technology progresses and the dimensions of integrated circuit elements shrink, overlay budget is accordingly being reduced. Overlay budget closely approaches the scale of measurement inaccuracies due to both optical imperfections of the measurement system and the interaction of light with geometrical asymmetries of the measured targets. Measurement inaccuracies can no longer be ignored due to their significant effect on the resulting device yield. In this paper we investigate a new approach for imaging based overlay (IBO) measurements by optimizing accuracy rather than contrast precision, including its effect over the total target performance, using wavelength tunable overlay imaging metrology. We present new accuracy metrics based on theoretical development and present their quality in identifying the measurement accuracy when compared to CD-SEM overlay measurements. The paper presents the theoretical considerations and simulation work, as well as measurement data, for which tunability combined with the new accuracy metrics is shown to improve accuracy performance.
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.
In this paper we discuss the mechanism by which process variations determine the overlay accuracy of optical metrology. We start by focusing on scatterometry, and showing that the underlying physics of this mechanism involves interference effects between cavity modes that travel between the upper and lower gratings in the scatterometry target. A direct result is the behavior of accuracy as a function of wavelength, and the existence of relatively well defined spectral regimes in which the overlay accuracy and process robustness degrades (`resonant regimes’). These resonances are separated by wavelength regions in which the overlay accuracy is better and independent of wavelength (we term these `flat regions’). The combination of flat and resonant regions forms a spectral signature which is unique to each overlay alignment and carries certain universal features with respect to different types of process variations. We term this signature the `landscape’, and discuss its universality. Next, we show how to characterize overlay performance with a finite set of metrics that are available on the fly, and that are derived from the angular behavior of the signal and the way it flags resonances. These metrics are used to guarantee the selection of accurate recipes and targets for the metrology tool, and for process control with the overlay tool. We end with comments on the similarity of imaging overlay to scatterometry overlay, and on the way that pupil overlay scatterometry and field overlay scatterometry differ from an accuracy perspective.