As the scales of the semiconductor devices continue to shrink, accurate measurement and control of the overlay have been emphasized for securing more overlay margin. Conventional overlay analysis methods are based on the optical measurement of the overlay mark. However, the overlay data obtained from these optical methods cannot represent the exact misregistration between two layers at the circuit level. The overlay mismatch may arise from the size or pitch difference between the overlay mark and the real pattern. Pattern distortion, caused by CMP or etching, could be a source of the overlay mismatch as well. Another issue is the overlay variation in the real circuit pattern which varies depending on its location. The optical overlay measurement methods, such as IBO and DBO that use overlay mark on the scribeline, are not capable of defining the exact overlay values of the real circuit. Therefore, the overlay values of the real circuit need to be extracted to integrate the semiconductor device properly. The circuit level overlay measurement using CDSEM is time-consuming in extracting enough data to indicate overall trend of the chip. However DBM tool is able to derive sufficient data to display overlay tendency of the real circuit region with high repeatability. An E-beam based DBM(Design Based Metrology) tool can be an alternative overlay measurement method.
In this paper, we are going to certify that the overlay values extracted from optical measurement cannot represent the circuit level overlay values. We will also demonstrate the possibility to correct misregistration between two layers using the overlay data obtained from the DBM system.
As design rule shrink, overlay has been critical factor for semiconductor manufacturing. However, the overlay
error which is determined by a conventional measurement with an overlay mark based on IBO and DBO often
does not represent the physical placement error in the cell area. The mismatch may arise from the size or pitch
difference between the overlay mark and the cell pattern. Pattern distortion caused by etching or CMP also can
be a source of the mismatch. In 2014, we have demonstrated that method of overlay measurement in the cell
area by using DBM (Design Based Metrology) tool has more accurate overlay value than conventional method
by using an overlay mark. We have verified the reproducibility by measuring repeatable patterns in the cell area,
and also demonstrated the reliability by comparing with CD-SEM data.
We have focused overlay mismatching between overlay mark and cell area until now, further more we have
concerned with the cell area having different pattern density and etch loading. There appears a phenomenon
which has different overlay values on the cells with diverse patterning environment. In this paper, the overlay
error was investigated from cell edge to center. For this experiment, we have verified several critical layers in
DRAM by using improved(Better resolution and speed) DBM tool, NGR3520.
As the industry pushes to ever more complex illumination schemes to increase resolution for next generation memory and logic circuits, sub-resolution assist feature (SRAF) placement requirements become increasingly severe. Therefore device manufacturers are evaluating improvements in SRAF placement algorithms which do not sacrifice main feature (MF) patterning capability. There are known-well several methods to generate SRAF such as Rule based Assist Features (RBAF), Model Based Assist Features (MBAF) and Hybrid Assisted Features combining features of the different algorithms using both RBAF and MBAF. Rule Based Assist Features (RBAF) continue to be deployed, even with the availability of Model Based Assist Features (MBAF) and Inverse Lithography Technology (ILT). Certainly for the 3x nm node, and even at the 2x nm nodes and lower, RBAF is used because it demands less run time and provides better consistency. Since RBAF is needed now and in the future, what is also needed is a faster method to create the AF rule tables. The current method typically involves making masks and printing wafers that contain several experiments, varying the main feature configurations, AF configurations, dose conditions, and defocus conditions – this is a time consuming and expensive process. In addition, as the technology node shrinks, wafer process changes and source shape redesigns occur more frequently, escalating the cost of rule table creation. Furthermore, as the demand on process margin escalates, there is a greater need for multiple rule tables: each tailored to a specific set of main-feature configurations. Model Assisted Rule Tables(MART) creates a set of test patterns, and evaluates the simulated CD at nominal conditions, defocused conditions and off-dose conditions. It also uses lithographic simulation to evaluate the likelihood of AF printing. It then analyzes the simulation data to automatically create AF rule tables. It means that analysis results display the cost of different AF configurations as the space grows between a pair of main features. In summary, model based rule tables method is able to make it much easier to create rule tables, leading to faster rule-table creation and a lower barrier to the creation of more rule tables.