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Proceedings Paper

Semiconductor wafer defect detection using digital holography
Author(s): Mark A. Schulze; Martin A. Hunt; Edgar Voelkl; Joel D. Hickson; William R. Usry; Randall G. Smith; Robert Bryant; C. E. Thomas Jr.
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Paper Abstract

Defect inspection metrology is an integral part of the yield ramp and process monitoring phases of semiconductor manufacturing. High aspect ratio structures have been identified in the ITRS as critical structures where there are no known manufacturable solutions for defect detection. We present case studies of a new inspection technology based on digital holography that addresses this need. Digital holography records the amplitude and phase of the wavefront from the target object directly to a single image acquired by a CCD camera. Using deep ultraviolet laser illumination, digital holography is capable of resolving phase differences corresponding to height differences as small as several nanometers. Thus, the technology is well suited to the task of finding defects on semiconductor wafers. We present a study of several defect detection benchmark wafers, and compare the results of digital holographic inspection to other wafer inspection technologies. Specifically, digital holography allows improved defect detection on high aspect ratio features, such as improperly etched contacts. In addition, the phase information provided by digital holography allows us to visualize the topology of defects, and even generate three-dimensional images of the wafer surface comparable to scanning electron microscope (SEM) images. These results demonstrate the unique defect detection capabilities of digital holography.

Paper Details

Date Published: 15 July 2003
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 5041, Process and Materials Characterization and Diagnostics in IC Manufacturing, (15 July 2003); doi: 10.1117/12.485237
Show Author Affiliations
Mark A. Schulze, nLine Corp. (United States)
Martin A. Hunt, nLine Corp. (United States)
Edgar Voelkl, nLine Corp. (United States)
Joel D. Hickson, nLine Corp. (United States)
William R. Usry, nLine Corp. (United States)
Randall G. Smith, nLine Corp. (United States)
Robert Bryant, nLine Corp. (United States)
C. E. Thomas Jr., nLine Corp. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5041:
Process and Materials Characterization and Diagnostics in IC Manufacturing
Kenneth W. Tobin Jr.; Iraj Emami, Editor(s)

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