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Proceedings Paper

Seeing the forest for the trees: a new approach to CD control
Author(s): Christopher P. Ausschnitt; Mark E. Lagus
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Paper Abstract

Critical dimension (CD) control in advanced semiconductor manufacturing has driven the in-line implementation of complex, high-resolution metrology systems to monitor minimum product dimensions. Yet the high-resolution approach is inconsistent with in-line CD control objectives: resolution does not translate to precision or accuracy, weak response to process parameters inhibits feedback control, sparse sampling precludes partitioning contributors to CD variation, and extendibility to future product generations is in question. We show that superior, affordable and extendable CD control is achieved by optical critical dimension (OCD) measurement of pattern arrays ('forests') whose individual features ('trees') need not be resolved by the metrology tool. The array dimension, averaged over multiple features, responds to CD change about a target value calibrated to the desired device dimension. Response sensitivity greater than that of the minimum dimension can improve the signal-to-noise for feedback control as well as the precision-to-tolerance for product dispositioning. Relatively low-cost and high-speed metrology enables increased product sampling. We describe our application of OCD metrology to 0.25 micrometer CMOS products.

Paper Details

Date Published: 8 June 1998
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 3332, Metrology, Inspection, and Process Control for Microlithography XII, (8 June 1998); doi: 10.1117/12.308729
Show Author Affiliations
Christopher P. Ausschnitt, IBM Advanced Semiconductor Technology Ctr. (United States)
Mark E. Lagus, IBM Advanced Semiconductor Technology Ctr. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 3332:
Metrology, Inspection, and Process Control for Microlithography XII
Bhanwar Singh, Editor(s)

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