Journal of Micro/Nanolithography, MEMS, and MOEMSCharacterization of 193-nm resist layers by critical dimension-scanning electron microscopy sidewall imaging
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In this work, the profile reconstruction capability of the Applied Materials NanoSEM 3-D critical dimension-scanning electron microscopy is evaluated. The system allows the fully automatic reconstruction of profiles by evaluating profiles measured at two different beam tilt angles. From two different tilt angles up to 15 deg, the reconstruction of sidewall profiles is possible in a quick and nondestructive way, even for negatively sloped profiles. The sensitivity of profile reconstruction, especially with respect to height and undercut detection in dependence of structure height and beam tilt angle, is discussed. We investigate precision and accuracy of profile reconstruction by comparing results from profile reconstruction to AFM and cross-sectional (X-SEM) results. We show that the sidewall angle can accurately be detected for 193-nm resist structures even for negatively sloped profiles. This enables the system for production use especially for monitoring of such profiles. As the profile reconstruction is done with nearly the same speed as regular top-down measurements, a clear advantage over existing monitoring techniques is obvious.