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Proceedings Paper

Automated metrology for SEM calibration and CD line measurements using image analysis and SEM modeling methods
Author(s): Vitali Khvatkov; Vasily Alievski; Radi Kadushnikov; Sergey Babin
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Paper Abstract

SEM microscopy is a primary method for CD measurements of features on sub-micron scale. The process of feature characterization using SEM involves several steps that include image acquisition, image processing, image analysis and data analysis. Each one of these steps carries an error margin that contributes to the overall accuracy of measurements. While performing measurements at the nanoscale resolution the accuracy of the process becomes even more critical for obtaining accurate measurements, and needs to be determined and understood. Using object with known dimensions such as linewidth of an isolated polycrystalline ("poly") Si lines be useful for evaluating accuracy of the characterization process and calibrating SEM instrument. Reference materials for such evaluation are being developed by NIST. To use this approach successfully it is important to understand metrology issues involved in the image characterization process. This work will review the scope of metrology issues involved in the process of linewidth measurement using SEM imaging including image acquisition, image processing and segmentation, as well as data extraction and analysis using image analysis methods. We will review and discuss methods for evaluating accuracy throughout characterization process and obtaining reliable and repeatable measurements. The scope of study includes the use of two dimensional simulation and modeling of SEM line images, methods for grayscale image processing and segmentation, algorithms for obtaining statistically accurate linewidth measurements from the image that can be used for instrument calibration and inter-laboratory studies and are generally applicable for obtaining CD measurements of line features.

Paper Details

Date Published: 16 April 2008
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 6922, Metrology, Inspection, and Process Control for Microlithography XXII, 69222N (16 April 2008); doi: 10.1117/12.774517
Show Author Affiliations
Vitali Khvatkov, Smart Imaging Technologies (United States)
Vasily Alievski, Smart Imaging Technologies (United States)
Radi Kadushnikov, Smart Imaging Technologies (United States)
Sergey Babin, aBeam Technologies (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6922:
Metrology, Inspection, and Process Control for Microlithography XXII
John A. Allgair; Christopher J. Raymond, Editor(s)

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