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Proceedings Paper

Through-silicon via plating void metrology using focused ion beam mill
Author(s): A. C. Rudack; J. Nadeau; R. Routh; R. J. Young
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Paper Abstract

3D IC integration continues to increase in complexity, employing advanced interconnect technologies such as throughsilicon vias (TSVs), wafer-to-wafer (W2W) bonding, and multi-chip stacking. As always, the challenge with developing new processes is to get fast, effective feedback to the integration engineer. Ideally this data is provided by nondestructive in-line metrology, but this is not always possible. For example, some form of physical cross-sectioning is still the most practical way to detect and characterize TSV copper plating voids. This can be achieved by cleaving, followed by scanning electron microscope (SEM) inspection. A more effective physical cross-sectioning method has been developed using an automated dual-beam focused ion beam (FIB)-SEM system, in which multiple locations can be sectioned and imaged while leaving the wafer intact. This method has been used routinely to assess copper plating voids over the last 24 months at SEMATECH. FIB-SEM feedback has been used to evaluate new plating chemistries, plating recipes, and process tool requalification after downtime. The dualbeam FIB-SEM used for these studies employs a gallium-based liquid metal ion source (LMIS). The overall throughput of relatively large volumes being milled is limited to 3-4 hours per section due to the maximum available beam current of 20 nA. Despite the larger volumetric removal rates of other techniques (e.g., mechanical polishing, broad-ion milling, and laser ablation), the value of localized, site-specific, and artifact-free FIB milling is well appreciated. The challenge, therefore, has been to reap the desired FIB benefits, but at faster volume removal rates. This has led to several system and technology developments for improving the throughput of the FIB technique, the most recent being the introduction of FIBs based on an inductively coupled plasma (ICP) ion source. The ICP source offers much better performance than the LMIS at very high beam currents, enabling more than 1 μA of ion beam current for fast material removal. At a lower current, the LMIS outperforms the ICP source, but imaging resolution below 30 nm has been demonstrated with ICP-based systems. In addition, the ICP source allows a wide range of possible ion species, with Xe currently the milling species of choice, due to its high mass and favorable ion source performance parameters. Using a 1 μA Xe beam will have an overall milling rate for silicon some 20X higher than a Ga beam operating at 65 nA. This paper will compare the benefits already seen using the Ga-based FIB-SEM approach to TSV metrology, with the improvements in throughput and time-to-data obtained by using the faster material removal capabilities of a FIB based on an ICP ion source. Plasma FIB (PFIB) is demonstrated to be a feasible tool for TSV plating void metrology.

Paper Details

Date Published: 5 April 2012
PDF: 5 pages
Proc. SPIE 8324, Metrology, Inspection, and Process Control for Microlithography XXVI, 832413 (5 April 2012); doi: 10.1117/12.916561
Show Author Affiliations
A. C. Rudack, SEMATECH (United States)
J. Nadeau, FEI Co. (United States)
R. Routh, FEI Co. (United States)
R. J. Young, FEI Co. (United States)


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

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