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Proceedings Paper

Real-time line-width measurements: a new feature for reticle inspection systems
Author(s): Yair Eran; Gad Greenberg; Amnon Joseph; Cornel Lustig; Eyal Mizrahi
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Paper Abstract

The significance of line width control in mask production has become greater with the lessening of defect size. There are two conventional methods used for controlling line widths dimensions which employed in the manufacturing of masks for sub micron devices. These two methods are the critical dimensions (CD) measurement and the detection of edge defects. Achieving reliable and accurate control of line width errors is one of the most challenging tasks in mask production. Neither of the two methods cited above (namely CD measurement and the detection of edge defects) guarantees the detection of line width errors with good sensitivity over the whole mask area. This stems from the fact that CD measurement provides only statistical data on the mask features whereas applying edge defect detection method checks defects on each edge by itself, and does not supply information on the combined result of error detection on two adjacent edges. For example, a combination of a small edge defect together with a CD non- uniformity which are both within the allowed tolerance, may yield a significant line width error, which will not be detected using the conventional methods (see figure 1). A new approach for the detection of line width errors which overcomes this difficulty is presented. Based on this approach, a new sensitive line width error detector was developed and added to Orbot's RT-8000 die-to-database reticle inspection system. This innovative detector operates continuously during the mask inspection process and scans (inspects) the entire area of the reticle for line width errors. The detection is based on a comparison of measured line width that are taken on both the design database and the scanned image of the reticle. In section 2, the motivation for developing this new detector is presented. The section covers an analysis of various defect types, which are difficult to detect using conventional edge detection methods or, alternatively, CD measurements. In section 3, the basic concept of the new approach is introduced together with a description of the new detector and its characteristics. In section 4, the calibration process that took place in order to achieve reliable and repeatable line width measurements is presented. The description of an experiments conducted in order to evaluate the sensitivity of the new detector is given in section 5, followed by a report of the results of this evaluation. The conclusions are presented in section 6.

Paper Details

Date Published: 28 July 1997
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 3096, Photomask and X-Ray Mask Technology IV, (28 July 1997); doi: 10.1117/12.277289
Show Author Affiliations
Yair Eran, Orbot Instruments Ltd. (Israel)
Gad Greenberg, Orbot Instruments Ltd. (Israel)
Amnon Joseph, Orbot Instruments Ltd. (Israel)
Cornel Lustig, Orbot Instruments Ltd. (Israel)
Eyal Mizrahi, Orbot Instruments Ltd. (Israel)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 3096:
Photomask and X-Ray Mask Technology IV
Naoaki Aizaki, Editor(s)

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