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Proceedings Paper

A Fully Automated Pattern Inspection System For Reticles & Masks
Author(s): Ian A. Cruttwell
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Paper Abstract

The continuing growth in the complexity of Integrated Circuits shows no signs of stopping. The industry has developed a series of equipments that have enabled even finer geometry to be economically reproduced onto the wafer. The latest of these, the direct step on wafer systems deliberately sacrifice area of exposure for resolution and accuracy. By projecting single die images that may be individually aligned to the die on the wafer, the stepper systems offered a tool to advance the industry. However these systems put a new strain on the production of reticles. (Fig.1). What had previously been only an intermediate tool for the creation of master masks now became the master in its own right. The Electron Beam Microfabricators provided a tool ideally suited to the creation of near perfect reticles. However, because of the use of the reticle as a direct production tool it is vital to ensure that the reticle is defect free before installing it, and, by checking the exposed pattern on silicon, to confirm that the reticle is still good in the stepper. A single mask defect may only kill a single die, a single reticle defect may kill all dies. In response to this challenge a new series of instruments has emerged to check the single die pattern not against its neighbour which may have been stepped from the same faulty reticle but directly against the CAD data.

Paper Details

Date Published: 7 November 1983
PDF: 5 pages
Proc. SPIE 0394, Optical Microlithography II: Technology for the 1980s, (7 November 1983); doi: 10.1117/12.935142
Show Author Affiliations
Ian A. Cruttwell, Cambridge Instruments (England)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 0394:
Optical Microlithography II: Technology for the 1980s
Harry L. Stover, Editor(s)

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