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Proceedings Paper

Evaluating practical vs. theoretical inspection system capability with a new programmed defect test mask designed for 3X and 4X technology nodes
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Paper Abstract

Programmed defect test masks serve the useful purpose of evaluating inspection system sensitivity and capability. It is widely recognized that when evaluating inspection system capability, it is important to understand the actual sensitivity of the inspection system in production; yet unfortunately we have observed that many test masks are a more accurate judge of theoretical sensitivity rather than real-world usable capability. Use of ineffective test masks leave the purchaser of inspection equipment open to the risks of over-estimating the capability of their inspection solution and overspecifying defect sensitivity to their customers. This can result in catastrophic yield loss for device makers. In this paper we examine some of the lithography-related technology advances which place an increasing burden on mask inspection complexity, such as MEEF, defect printability estimation, aggressive OPC, double patterning, and OPC jogs. We evaluate the key inspection system component contributors to successful mask inspection, including what can "go wrong" with these components. We designed and fabricated a test mask which both (a) more faithfully represents actual production use cases; and (b) stresses the key components of the inspection system. This mask's patterns represent 32nm, 36nm, and 45nm logic and memory technology including metal and poly like background patterns with programmed defects. This test mask takes into consideration requirements of advanced lithography, such as MEEF, defect printability, assist features, nearly-repetitive patterns, and data preparation. This mask uses patterns representative of 32nm, 36nm, and 45nm logic, flash, and DRAM technology. It is specifically designed to have metal and poly like background patterns with programmed defects. The mask is complex tritone and was designed for annular immersion lithography.

Paper Details

Date Published: 17 October 2008
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 7122, Photomask Technology 2008, 71221H (17 October 2008); doi: 10.1117/12.801546
Show Author Affiliations
Joshua Glasser, KLA-Tencor Corp. RAPID (United States)
Tim Pratt, KLA-Tencor Corp. RAPID (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7122:
Photomask Technology 2008
Hiroichi Kawahira; Larry S. Zurbrick, Editor(s)

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