Nanometrisis team was at SPIE2018 (https://spie.org/AL/conferencedetails/metrology-inspection-process-control-microlithography) with the following papers:
1) Computational Nanometrology of Line Edge Roughness: Noise effects and the role of etch transfer (poster)
The aim of this paper is to investigate the role of etch transfer in two challenges of LER metrology raised by recent evolutions in lithography: the effects of SEM noise and the cross-line and edge correlations.
The first comes from the ongoing scaling down of linewidths, which dictates SEM imaging with less scanning frames to reduce specimen damage and hence with more noise. During the last decade, it has been shown that image noise can be an important budget of the measured LER while systematically affects and alter the PSD curve of LER at high frequencies. A recent method for unbiased LER measurement is based on the systematic Fourier or correlation analysis to decompose the effects of noise from true LER (Fourier-Correlation filtering method). The success of the method depends on the PSD and HHCF curve. Previous experimental and model works have revealed that etch transfer affects the PSD of LER reducing its high frequency values. In this work, we estimate the noise contribution to the biased LER through PSD flat floor at high frequencies and relate it with the differences between the PSDs of lithography and etched LER. Based on this comparison, we propose an improvement of the PSD/HHCF-based method for noise-free LER measurement to include the missed high frequency real LER.
The second issue is related with the increased density of lithographic patterns and the special characteristics of DSA and MP lithography patterns exhibits. In a previous work, we presented an enlarged LER characterization methodology for such patterns, which includes updated versions of the old metrics along with new metrics defined and developed to capture cross-edge and cross-line correlations. The fundamental concept has been the Line Center Roughness (LCR), the edge c-factor and the line c-factor correlation function and length quantifying the line fluctuations and the extent of cross-edge and cross-line correlations. In this work, we focus on the role of etch steps on cross-edge and line correlation metrics in SAQP data. We find that the spacer etch steps reduce edge correlations while etch steps with pattern transfer increase these. Furthermore, the density doubling and quadrupling increase edge correlations as well as cross-line correlations.
2) Multifractal analysis of Line Edge Roughness (poster)
In this paper, we propose to rethink the issue of LER characterization on the basis of the fundamental concept of symmetries. In LER one can apply two kinds of symmetries: a) the translation symmetry characterized by periodicity and b) the scaling symmetry quantified by the fractal dimension. Up to now, a lot of work has been done on the first symmetry since the Power Spectral Density (PSD), which has been extensively studied recently, is a decomposition of LER signal into periodic edges and quantification of the ‘power’ of each periodicity at the real LER.
The aim of this paper is to focus on the second symmetry of scaling invariance. Similarly to PSD, we introduce the multifractal approach in LER analysis which generalizes the scaling analysis of standard (mono)fractal theory and decomposes LER into fractal edges characterized by specific fractal dimensions. The main benefit of multifractal analysis is that it enables the characterization of the multi-scaling contributions of different mechanisms involved in LER formation.
In the first part of our work, we present concisely the multifractal theory of line edges and utilize the Box Counting method for its implementation and the extraction of the multifractal spectrum. Special emphasis is given on the explanation of the physical meaning of the obtained multifractal spectrum whose asymmetry quantifies the degree of multifractality. In addition, we propose the distinction between peak-based and valley-based multifractality according to whether the asymmetry of the multifractal spectrum is coming from the sharp line material peaks to space regions or from the cavities of line materis (edge valleys). In the second part, we study systematically the evolution of LER multifractal spectrum during the first successive steps of a multiple (quadruple) patterning lithography technique and find an interesting transition from a peak-based multifractal behavior in the first litho resist LER to a valley-based multifractality caused mainly by the effects of etch pattern transfer steps.
3) Allowable SEM noise for unbiased LER measurement (oral presentation)
Recently, a novel method for the calculation of unbiased Line Edge Roughness based on Power Spectral Density analysis has been proposed. In this paper first an alternative method is discussed and investigated, utilizing the Height-Height Correlation Function (HHCF) of edges. The HHCF-based method enables the unbiased determination of the whole triplet of LER parameters including besides rms the correlation length and roughness exponent. The key of both methods is the sensitivity of PSD and HHCF on noise at high frequencies and short distance respectively. Secondly, we elaborate a testbed of synthesized SEM images with controlled LER and noise to justify the effectiveness of the proposed unbiased methods. Our main objective is to find out the boundaries of the method in respect to noise levels and roughness characteristics, for which the method remains reliable, i.e the maximum amount of noise allowed, for which the output results cope with the controllable known inputs. At the same time, we will also set the extremes of roughness parameters for which the methods hold their accuracy.