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Journal of Micro/Nanolithography, MEMS, and MOEMS

Challenges in line edge roughness metrology in directed self-assembly lithography: placement errors and cross-line correlations
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Paper Abstract

Directed self-assembly (DSA) lithography poses challenges in line edge roughness (LER)/line width roughness metrology due to its self-organized and pitch-based nature. To cope with these challenges, a characterization approach with metrics and/or updates of the older ones is required. To this end, we focus on two specific challenges of DSA line patterns: (a) the large correlations between the left and right edges of a line (line wiggling) and (b) the cross-line correlations, i.e., the resemblance of wiggling fluctuations of nearby lines. The first is quantified by the line center roughness whose low-frequency part is related to the local placement errors of device structures. For the second, we introduce the c -factor correlation function, which quantifies the strength of the correlations between lines versus their horizontal distance in pitches. The proposed characterization approach is first illustrated and explained in synthesized scanning electron microscope images with full control of their dimensional and roughness parameters; it is then applied to the analysis of line/space patterns obtained with the Liu–Nealey flow (post-Polymethyl methacrylate removal and pattern transfer), revealing the effects of pattern transfer on roughness and uniformity. Finally, we calculate the c -factor function of various next-generation lithography techniques and show their distinct footprint on the extent of cross-line correlations.

Paper Details

Date Published: 11 April 2017
PDF: 9 pages
J. Micro/Nanolith. MEMS MOEMS 16(2) 024001 doi: 10.1117/1.JMM.16.2.024001
Published in: Journal of Micro/Nanolithography, MEMS, and MOEMS Volume 16, Issue 2
Show Author Affiliations
Vassilios Constantoudis, Institute of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (Greece)
George Papavieros, Institute of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (Greece)
Evangelos Gogolides, Institute of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (Greece)
Alessandro Vaglio Pret, IMEC (Belgium)
KLA-Tencor Corp. (United States)
Hari Pathangi, IMEC (Belgium)
Roel Gronheid, IMEC (Belgium)


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