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Proceedings Paper

Improved gate process control at the 130-nm node using spectroscopic-ellipsometry-based profile metrology
Author(s): J. Scott Hodges; Yu-Lun Chris Lin; Dale R. Burrows; Ray H. Chiao; Robert M. Peters; Srinivasan Rangarajan; Kamal N. Bhatia; Suresh Lakkapragada
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Paper Abstract

The ability to control the cross-sectional profile of polysilicon gate structures on semiconductor devices is paramount to maximize product yield and transistor performance. Tighter control of gate profile parameters leads to a tighter distribution of transistor speeds, resulting in more optimized and consistent device performance. Furthermore, the ability to correlate physical in-line profile measurements taken at gate patterning process steps, to back-end-of-line device parametric test results, enables semiconductor manufacturers to minimize the cost per good die produced, by accurately screening out-of-spec product early in the process flow. The significant increase in the number of chips on today's 300mm wafers heightens the importance of obtaining reliable in-line data. In addition, the reduction of design rules to 130nm and below is driving precision requirements on metrology to <1nm, in order to maintain acceptable precision-to-tolerance (P/T) ratios. Historical methods of in-line metrology (Low Voltage Scanning Electron Microscopy, Atomic Force Microscopy, Electrical Critical Dimension Measurement) all face limitations with regards to precision, correlation, or throughput. This paper will demonstrate the use of Spectroscopic Ellipsometry to provide fast, accurate, and precise two-dimensional profile information on polysilicon gate structures. This metrology technique is currently being utilized for in-line process control and product disposition, at the gate lithography and etch process steps, on 130nm generation logic devices manufactured in Texas Instruments' DMOS 6 300mm wafer fabrication facility. A brief description of the measurement theory and gate profile measurement solution for both dense and isolated structures will be given. This will be followed by data generated from DMOS 6 production material. Using Spectroscopic Ellipsometry, precision results of <0.5nm for CD and height, and <0.25 degrees for profile sidewall angle were obtained at both the lithography and etch measurement steps. The use of CD and sidewall angle information in an APC loop to improve control over the gate trim etch process will also be discussed. Data will be presented showing univariate and multivariate correlation of gate etch profile parameters to post-metalization transistor drive current (IDrive) that is equivalent or superior to existing metrology techniques. Finally, examples of where Spectroscopic Ellipsometry has both increased sensitivity and shortened response time to gate etch process excursions will be presented.

Paper Details

Date Published: 2 June 2003
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 5038, Metrology, Inspection, and Process Control for Microlithography XVII, (2 June 2003); doi: 10.1117/12.485002
Show Author Affiliations
J. Scott Hodges, Texas Instruments Inc. (United States)
Yu-Lun Chris Lin, Texas Instruments Inc. (United States)
Dale R. Burrows, Texas Instruments Inc. (United States)
Ray H. Chiao, Texas Instruments Inc. (United States)
Robert M. Peters, KLA-Tencor Corp. (United States)
Srinivasan Rangarajan, KLA-Tencor Corp. (United States)
Kamal N. Bhatia, KLA-Tencor Corp. (United States)
Suresh Lakkapragada, KLA-Tencor Corp. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5038:
Metrology, Inspection, and Process Control for Microlithography XVII
Daniel J. Herr, Editor(s)

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