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Proceedings Paper

CD control with defect inspection: you can teach an old dog a new trick
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Paper Abstract

Achieving the required critical dimensions (CD) with the best possible uniformity (CDU) on photo-masks has always played a pivotal role in enabling chip technology. Current control strategies are based on scanning electron microscopy (SEM) based measurements implying a sparse spatial resolution on the order of ~ 10-2 m to 10-1 m. A higher spatial resolution could be reached with an adequate measurement sampling, however the increase in the number of measurements makes this approach in the context of a productive environment unfeasible. With the advent of more powerful defect inspection tools a significantly higher spatial resolution of 10-4 m can be achieved by measuring also CD during the regular defect inspection. This method is not limited to the measurement of specific measurement features thus paving the way to a CD assessment of all electrically relevant mask patterns. Enabling such a CD measurement gives way to new realms of CD control. Deterministic short range CD effects which were previously interpreted as noise can be resolved and addressed by CD compensation methods. This in can lead to substantial improvements of the CD uniformity. Thus the defect inspection mediated CD control closes a substantial gap in the mask manufacturing process by allowing the control of short range CD effects which were up till now beyond the reach of regular CD SEM based control strategies. This increase in spatial resolution also counters the decrease in measurement precision due to the usage of an optical system. In this paper we present detailed results on a) the CD data generated during the inspection process, b) the analytical tools needed for relating this data to CD SEM measurement and c) how the CD inspection process enables new dimension of CD compensation within the mask manufacturing process. We find that the inspection based CD measurement generates typically around 500000 measurements with a homogeneous covering of the active mask area. In comparing the CD inspection results with CD SEM measurement on a single measurement point base we find that optical limitations of the inspection tool play a substantial role within the photon based inspection process. Once these shift are characterized and removed a correlation coefficient of 0.9 between these two CD measurement techniques is found. This finding agrees well with a signature based matching approach. Based on these findings we set up a dedicated pooling algorithm which performs on outlier removal for all CD inspections together with a data clustering according to feature specific tool induced shifts. This way tool induced shift effects can be removed and CD signature computation is enabled. A statistical model of the CD signatures which relates the mask design parameters on the relevant length scales to CD effects thus enabling the computation CD compensation maps. The compensation maps address the CD effects on various distinct length scales and we show that long and short range contributions to the CD variation are decreased. We find that the CD uniformity is improved by 25% using this novel CD compensation strategy.

Paper Details

Date Published: 8 November 2012
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 8522, Photomask Technology 2012, 85220B (8 November 2012); doi: 10.1117/12.965531
Show Author Affiliations
Clemens Utzny, Advanced Mask Technology Ctr. GmbH Co. KG (Germany)
Albrecht Ullrich, Advanced Mask Technology Ctr. GmbH Co. KG (Germany)
Jan Heumann, Advanced Mask Technology Ctr. GmbH Co. KG (Germany)
Elias Mohn, Advanced Mask Technology Ctr. GmbH Co. KG (Germany)
Stefan Meusemann, Advanced Mask Technology Ctr. GmbH Co. KG (Germany)
Rolf Seltmann, GLOBALFOUNDRIES Dresden (Germany)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8522:
Photomask Technology 2012
Frank E. Abboud; Thomas B. Faure, Editor(s)

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