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Proceedings Paper

Critical issues in quantifying line edge roughness
Author(s): A. Nikitin; A. Sicignano; D. Yeremin; M. Sandy; T. Goldburt
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Paper Abstract

The problem of quantifying LER in the semiconductor industry has become critical with sub-100nm node manufacturing. However, routine methods for LER measurement to meet the needs of industry have not been reported. Even the definition for LER has not been defined unambiguously. Also, the length of the photoresist structure, on which LER is measured, has not bee standardized. Meanwhile, demands for precision in LER calculations have been put forward without accounting for the statistical nature of this parameter. In addition, the algorithms used for feature edge localization when performing LER measurements frequently have free parameters which makes LER estimation ambiguous and does not allow LER comparisons of the same feature. In particular, without taking into account the influence of signal noise in the SEM video, the LER measurements obtained will have contributions from both the measured feature and measuring tool (SEM). The manner in which this measurement is done results in LER values that exceed the true LER. Moreover, when measured objects have spect ratios exceeding three, it is not clear where along the cross-section height of the object-bottom, top, or some intermediate position-correspond to the measured values. The above issues make the interpretation of obtained results very difficult, and significantly reduces the reliability and value of LER measurement results present in the referenced literature. Nanometrology has developed a new concept for LER measurements that is free of many of the disadvantages mentioned above. It is based on the definition of LER as "a standard deviation of the factual edge position on SEM scan lines from an approximated straight line". Nanometrology's use of a patented algorithm for edge localization of 3D objects results in the measurement of the bottom CD of photoresist structures. Our algorithms do not have free parameters. These algorithms have been incorporated into a CD measurement software package called CD-LER.

Paper Details

Date Published: 10 May 2005
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 5752, Metrology, Inspection, and Process Control for Microlithography XIX, (10 May 2005); doi: 10.1117/12.599935
Show Author Affiliations
A. Nikitin, Nanometrology LLC (United States)
A. Sicignano, Nanometrology LLC (United States)
D. Yeremin, Nanometrology LLC (United States)
M. Sandy, Nanometrology LLC (United States)
T. Goldburt, Nanometrology LLC (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5752:
Metrology, Inspection, and Process Control for Microlithography XIX
Richard M. Silver, Editor(s)

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