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Proceedings Paper

Can we get 3D-CD metrology right?
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Paper Abstract

Our world is three-dimensional, and so are the integrated circuits (ICs), they have always been. In the past, for a long time, we have been very fortunate, because it was enough to measure a simple critical dimension (CD), the width of the resist line, to keep IC production under acceptable control. This requirement has changed in the last few years to contour and now to three-dimensional measurements. Optical lithography is printing photoresist features that are significantly smaller than the wavelength of the light used, and therefore it is indispensable to use optical proximity correction (OPC) methods. This includes modeling and compensation for various errors in the lithography process down to sub-nanometer, essentially atomic levels. The process has to rely on sophisticated and complex simulations and on accurate and highly repeatable dimensional metrology. The necessary dimensional metrology is beyond the conventional one-dimensional line width measurements, and must include two - and three-dimensional measurements of the contours and shapes of structures. Contour metrology needs accurate and highly repeatable measurements on sets and individual OPC structures, for which the critical dimension measurement scanning electron microscope (CD-SEM) is the key metrology tool. Three-dimensional (3D) metrology is now indispensable for IC technology, but current metrology tools and methods cannot fulfill the requirements. We believe that with the implementation of new methods it is feasible to develop 3D metrology that will well serve IC production, even on structures in the few nanometer-size range.

Paper Details

Date Published: 5 April 2012
PDF: 13 pages
Proc. SPIE 8324, Metrology, Inspection, and Process Control for Microlithography XXVI, 832402 (5 April 2012); doi: 10.1117/12.916537
Show Author Affiliations
András E. Vladár, NIST (United States)
Petr Cizmar, NIST (United States)
John S. Villarrubia, NIST (United States)
Michael T. Postek, NIST (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8324:
Metrology, Inspection, and Process Control for Microlithography XXVI
Alexander Starikov, Editor(s)

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