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.
Femtosecond laser ablation occurs on timescales faster than the thermalization of the excited electrons and the lattice in solid materials. The ultrafast deposition of energy competes with the slower electron-phonon energy redistribution, raising the question of what is the optimal pulse duration for efficient deposition of energy while minimizing peripheral damage, and whether the shortest pulse is always the most efficient. We studied femtosecond laser ablation of silicon and several metals, varied the pulse duration while keeping all other parameters equal, and looked for optimal conditions. The main findings in our study are that at low fluences, not too high above the ablation threshold, the shortest pulses are the most efficient, whereas under high fluence conditions, well above the ablation threshold, longer pulses ablate more efficiently. In order to facilitate eventual direct, real time optimization, we developed a diagnostics tool for the monitoring of the ablation efficiency over a wide range of pulse durations. The intensity of the emission at atomic lines (i.e. the 289 nm line in Silicon, calibrated by plasma emission at other wavelengths) provides such information, while optical and AFM microscopy provide reliable information about the quality of ablated structures.