To handle upcoming advanced technology nodes, the spec of focus control continues to tighten to satisfy more stringent CD uniformity (CDU). In high volume manufacturing (HVM) nowadays, yield at wafer edge suffers from CDU degradation due to process variation like edge roll-off topography. Advance focus control using diffraction-based focus (DBF) was proposed as one solution; we can apply the focus compensation values, which are determined from DBF measurement. However, the confidence of the focus compensation depends on the accuracy of focus measurement, which is a widely recognized challenge in the industry. In this paper, we have investigated the performance and the accuracy of two different designs of DBF marks by collecting full maps of DBF measurements. The measurement shows different signatures cross wafer from the two designs. For focus accuracy validation, CDU maps of several focus sensitive patterns have been collected and analyzed against the defocus measurement results. Our results demonstrate that with the accuracy improved DBF design and focus correction per exposure (CPE) schematic, the CDU is improved by 20%, at the wafer edge. We find that the dimension of the DBF main pattern (W1) dominates the accuracy of focus measurement. A DBF design guideline is proposed that the main pattern dimension (W1) should be close to device focus sensitive pattern size to capture its defocus signature more effectively. The accuracy of focus measurement benefits from designs that are close to device weak point patterns, which in turn improves the overall CD uniformity.
As leading edge lithography moves to advanced nodes in high-mix, high-volume manufacturing environment, automated control of critical dimension (CD) within wafer has become a requirement. Current control methods to improve CD uniformity (CDU) generally rely upon the use of field by field exposure corrections via factory automation or through scanner sub-recipe. Such CDU control methods are limited to lithography step and cannot be extended to etch step. In this paper, a new method to improve CDU at post etch step by optimizing exposure at lithography step is introduced. This new solution utilizes GLOBALFOUNDRIES’ factory automation system and KLA-Tencor’s K-T Analyzer as the infrastructure to calculate and feed the necessary field by field level exposure corrections back to scanner, so as to achieve the optimal CDU at post etch step. CD at post lithography and post etch steps are measured by scatterometry metrology tools respectively and are used by K-T Analyzer as the input for correction calculations. This paper will explain in detail the philosophy as well as the methodology behind this novel CDU control solution. In addition, applications and use cases will be reviewed to demonstrate the capability and potential of this solution. The feasibility of adopting this solution in high-mix, high-volume manufacturing environment will be discussed as well.