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Proceedings Paper

A novel approach: high resolution inspection with wafer plane defect detection
Author(s): Carl Hess; Mark Wihl; Rui-fang Shi; Yalin Xiong; Song Pang
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Paper Abstract

High Resolution reticle inspection is well-established as a proven, effective, and efficient means of detecting yield-limiting mask defects as well as defects which are not immediately yield-limiting yet can enable manufacturing process improvements. Historically, RAPID products have enabled detection of both classes of these defects. The newly-developed Wafer Plane Inspection (WPI) detector technology meets the needs of some advanced mask manufacturers to identify the lithographically-significant defects while ignoring the other non-lithographically-significant defects. Wafer Plane Inspection accomplishes this goal by performing defect detection based on a modeled image of how the mask features would actually print in the photoresist. This has the effect of reducing sensitivity to non-printing defects while enabling higher sensitivity focused in high MEEF areas where small reticle defects still yield significant printing defects on wafers. WPI is a new inspection mode that has been developed by KLA-Tencor and is currently under test with multiple customers. It employs the same transmitted and reflected-light high-resolution images as the industry-standard high-resolution inspections, but with much more sophisticated processing involved. A rigorous mask pattern recovery algorithm is used to convert the transmitted and reflected light images into a modeled representation of the reticle. Lithographic modeling of the scanner is then used to generate an aerial image of the mask. This is followed by resist modeling to determine the exposure of the photoresist. The defect detectors are then applied on this photoresist plane so that only printing defects are detected. Note that no hardware modifications to the inspection system are required to enable this detector. The same tool will be able to perform both our standard High Resolution inspections and the Wafer Plane Inspection detector. This approach has several important features. The ability to ignore non-printing defects and to apply additional effective sensitivity in high MEEF areas enables advanced node development. In addition, the modeling allows the inclusion of important polarization effects that occur in the resist for high NA operation. This allows for the results to better match wafer print results compared to alternate approaches. Finally, the simulation easily allows for the application of arbitrary illumination profiles. With this approach, users of WPI can make use of unique or custom scanner illumination profiles. This allows the more precise modeling of profiles without inspection system hardware modification or loss of company intellectual property. This paper examines WPI in Die:Die mode. Future work includes a review of Die:Database WPI capability.

Paper Details

Date Published: 19 May 2008
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 7028, Photomask and Next-Generation Lithography Mask Technology XV, 70281F (19 May 2008); doi: 10.1117/12.793056
Show Author Affiliations
Carl Hess, KLA-Tencor Corp. (United States)
Mark Wihl, KLA-Tencor Corp. (United States)
Rui-fang Shi, KLA-Tencor Corp. (United States)
Yalin Xiong, KLA-Tencor Corp. (United States)
Song Pang, KLA-Tencor Corp. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7028:
Photomask and Next-Generation Lithography Mask Technology XV
Toshiyuki Horiuchi, Editor(s)

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