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Proceedings Paper

Increased particle inspection sensitivity by reduction of background scatter variance
Author(s): Peter van der Walle; Pragati Kumar; Dmitry Ityaksov; Richard Versluis; Diederik J. Maas; Olaf Kievit; Jochem Janssen; Jacques C. J. van der Donck
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Paper Abstract

In dark-field particle inspection, the limiting factor for sensitivity is the amount of background scatter due to substrate roughness. This scatter forms a speckle pattern and shows an intensity distribution with a long tail. To reduce falsepositives to an acceptable level, a high detection threshold should be chosen such that the tail of the background distribution is avoided. We have modeled an optimized illumination mode, that reduces the variance in the background distribution. This illumination mode illuminates the substrate from multiple azimuth angles. We show that the speckle patterns generated by each azimuth angle can be independent from each other. Therefore by combining the angles, the variance of the background signal is reduced. We show that for the parameters of our inspection system the detection threshold can be reduced by a factor three, resulting in a lower detection limit that is 20% smaller in particle size. The change in the background scattering distribution was confirmed by experiments.

Paper Details

Date Published: 10 April 2013
PDF: 6 pages
Proc. SPIE 8681, Metrology, Inspection, and Process Control for Microlithography XXVII, 868116 (10 April 2013); doi: 10.1117/12.2011092
Show Author Affiliations
Peter van der Walle, TNO (Netherlands)
Pragati Kumar, TNO (Netherlands)
Dmitry Ityaksov, TNO (Netherlands)
Richard Versluis, TNO (Netherlands)
Diederik J. Maas, TNO (Netherlands)
Olaf Kievit, TNO (Netherlands)
Jochem Janssen, TNO (Netherlands)
Jacques C. J. van der Donck, TNO (Netherlands)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8681:
Metrology, Inspection, and Process Control for Microlithography XXVII
Alexander Starikov; Jason P. Cain, Editor(s)

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