Shrinking on-product overlay (OPO) budgets in advanced technology nodes require more accurate overlay measurement and better measurement robustness to process variability. Pupil-based accuracy flags have been introduced to the scatterometry-based overlay (SCOL) system to evaluate the performance of a SCOL measurement setup. Wavelength Homing is a new robustness feature enabled by the continuous tunability of advanced SCOL systems using a supercontinuum laser light source in combination with a flexible bandpass filter. Inline process monitoring using accuracy flags allows for detection, quantification and correction of shifts in the optimal measurement wavelength. This work demonstrates the benefit of Wavelength Homing in overcoming overlay inaccuracy caused by process changes and restoring the OPO and residual levels in the original recipe.
As semiconductor technology nodes keep shrinking, ever-tightening on-product overlay (OPO) budgets coupled with continuous process development and improvement make it critical to have a robust and accurate metrology setup. Process monitoring and control is becoming increasingly important to achieve high yield production. In recently introduced advanced overlay (OVL) systems, a supercontinuum laser source is applied to facilitate the collection of overlay spectra to increase measurement stability. In this paper, an analysis methodology has been proposed to couple the measured overlay spectra with overlay simulation to extract exact process information from overlay spectra. This paper demonstrates the ability to use overlay spectra to capture and quantify process variation, which in turn can be used to calibrate the simulation stacks used to create the SCOL (scatterometry-based overlay) and AIM overlay metrology targets, and can be fed into the fab for process monitoring and improvement.
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 recent technology nodes, advanced process and novel integration scheme have challenged the precision limits of conventional metrology; with critical dimensions (CD) of device reduce to sub-nanometer region. Optical metrology has proved its capability to precisely detect intricate details on the complex structures, however, conventional RCWA-based (rigorous coupled wave analysis) scatterometry has the limitations of long time-to-results and lack of flexibility to adapt to wide process variations. Signal Response Metrology (SRM) is a new metrology technique targeted to alleviate the consumption of engineering and computation resources by eliminating geometric/dispersion modeling and spectral simulation from the workflow. This is achieved by directly correlating the spectra acquired from a set of wafers with known process variations encoded. In SPIE 2015, we presented the results of SRM application in lithography metrology and control , accomplished the mission of setting up a new measurement recipe of focus/dose monitoring in hours. This work will demonstrate our recent field exploration of SRM implementation in 20nm technology and beyond, including focus metrology for scanner control; post etch geometric profile measurement, and actual device profile metrology.
CD uniformity requirements at 20nm and more advanced nodes have challenged the precision limits of CD-SEM metrology, conventionally used for scanner qualification and in-line focus/dose monitoring on product wafers. Optical CD metrology has consequently gained adoption for these applications because of its superior precision, but has been limited adopted, due to challenges with long time-to-results and robustness to process variation. Both of these challenges are due to the limitations imposed by geometric modeling of the photoresist (PR) profile as required by conventional RCWA-based scatterometry. Signal Response Metrology (SRM) is a new technique that obviates the need for geometric modeling by directly correlating focus, dose, and CD to the spectral response of a scatterometry tool. Consequently, it suggests superior accuracy and robustness to process variation for focus/dose monitoring, as well as reducing the time to set up a new measurement recipe from days to hours. This work describes the fundamental concepts of SRM and the results of its application to lithography metrology and control. These results include time to results and measurement performance data on Focus, Dose and CD measurements performed on real devices and on design rule metrology targets.
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.
With the introduction of N2x and N1x process nodes, leading-edge factories are facing challenging demands of shrinking design margins. Previously un-corrected high-order signatures, and un-compensated temporal changes of high-order signatures, carry an important potential for improvement of on-product overlay (OPO). Until recently, static corrections per exposure (CPE), applied separately from the main APC correction, have been the industry’s standard for critical layers , . This static correction is setup once per device and layer and then updated periodically or when a machine change point generates a new overlay signature. This is a non-ideal setup for two reasons. First, any drift or sudden shift in tool signature between two CPE update periods can cause worse OPO and a higher rework rate, or, even worse, lead to yield loss at end of line. Second, these corrections are made from full map measurements that can be in excess of 1,000 measurements per wafer .
Advanced overlay control algorithms utilizing Run-to-Run (R2R) CPE can be used to reduce the overlay signatures on product in High Volume Manufacturing (HVM) environments. In this paper, we demonstrate the results of a R2R CPE control scheme in HVM. The authors show an improvement up to 20% OPO Mean+3Sigma values on several critical immersion layers at the 28nm and 14 nm technology nodes, and a reduction of out-of-spec residual points per wafer (validated on full map). These results are attained by closely tracking process tool signature changes by means of APC, and with an affordable metrology load which is significantly smaller than full wafer measurements.
There are various data mining and analysis tools in use by high-volume semiconductor manufacturers throughout the industry that seek to provide robust monitoring and analysis capabilities for the purpose of maintaining a stable lithography process. These tools exist in both online and offline formats and draw upon data from various sources for monitoring and analysis. This paper explores several possible use cases of run-time scanner data to provide advanced overlay and imaging analysis for scanner lithography signatures. Here we demonstrate several use-cases for analyzing and stabilizing lithography processes. Applications include high order wafer alignment simulations in which an optimal alignment strategy is determined by dynamic wafer selection, reporting statistics data and analysis of the lot report and the sub-recipe as a sort of non-standard lot report, visualization of key lithography process parameters, and scanner fleet management (SFM)
As the process nodes continue to shrink, overlay budgets are approaching theoretical performance of the tools. It becomes even more imperative to improve overlay performance in order to maintain the roadmap for advance integrated circuit manufacturing. One of the critical factors in 20nm manufacturing is the overlay performance between the Middle of Line (MOL) and the Poly layer. The margin between these two layers was a process limiter, it was essential that we maintain a very tight overlay control between these layers. Due to various process and metrology related effects, maintaining good overlay control became a challenge. In this paper we describe the various factors affecting overlay performance and the measures taken to mitigate or eliminate said factors to improve overlay performance.
As photolithography will continue with 193nm immersion multiple patterning technologies for the leading edge HVM process node, the production overlay requirement for critical layers in logic devices has almost reached the scanner hardware performance limit. To meet the extreme overlay requirements in HVM production environment, this study investigates a new integrated overlay control concept for leading edge technology nodes that combines the run-to-run (R2R) linear or high order control loop, the periodic field-by-field or correction per exposure (CPE) wafer process signature control loop, and the scanner baseline control loop into a single integrated overlay control path through the fab host APC system. The goal is to meet the fab requirements for overlay performance, lower the cost of ownership, and provide freedom of control methodology. In this paper, a detailed implementation of this concept will be discussed, along with some preliminary results.
As leading edge lithography moves to advanced nodes in high-mix, high-volume manufacturing environment, automated control of critical dimension (CD) within wafer has become a requirement. Current control methods to improve CD uniformity (CDU) generally rely upon the use of field by field exposure corrections via factory automation or through scanner sub-recipe. Such CDU control methods are limited to lithography step and cannot be extended to etch step. In this paper, a new method to improve CDU at post etch step by optimizing exposure at lithography step is introduced. This new solution utilizes GLOBALFOUNDRIES’ factory automation system and KLA-Tencor’s K-T Analyzer as the infrastructure to calculate and feed the necessary field by field level exposure corrections back to scanner, so as to achieve the optimal CDU at post etch step. CD at post lithography and post etch steps are measured by scatterometry metrology tools respectively and are used by K-T Analyzer as the input for correction calculations. This paper will explain in detail the philosophy as well as the methodology behind this novel CDU control solution. In addition, applications and use cases will be reviewed to demonstrate the capability and potential of this solution. The feasibility of adopting this solution in high-mix, high-volume manufacturing environment will be discussed as well.