At 28nm technology node and below, hot spot prediction and process window control across production wafers have become increasingly critical to prevent hotspots from becoming yield-limiting defects. We previously established proof of concept for a systematic approach to identify the most critical pattern locations, i.e. hotspots, in a reticle layout by computational lithography and combining process window characteristics of these patterns with across-wafer process variation data to predict where hotspots may become yield impacting defects [1,2]. The current paper establishes the impact of micro-topography on a 28nm metal layer, and its correlation with hotspot best focus variations across a production chip layout. Detailed topography measurements are obtained from an offline tool, and pattern-dependent best focus (BF) shifts are determined from litho simulations that include mask-3D effects. We also establish hotspot metrology and defect verification by SEM image contour extraction and contour analysis. This enables detection of catastrophic defects as well as quantitative characterization of pattern variability, i.e. local and global CD uniformity, across a wafer to establish hotspot defect and variability maps. Finally, we combine defect prediction and verification capabilities for process monitoring by on-product, guided hotspot metrology, i.e. with sampling locations being determined from the defect prediction model and achieved prediction accuracy (capture rate) around 75%
Today’s CD-SEM metrology is challenged when it comes to measuring complex features found in patterning hotspots (like tip to tip, tip to side, necking and bridging). Metrology analysis tools allow us to extract SEM contours of a feature and convert them into a GDS format from which dimensional data can be extracted. While the CD-SEM is being used to take images, the actual measurement and the choice of what needs to be measured is done offline. Most of the time this method is used for OPC model creation but barely for process variability analysis at nominal process conditions. We showed in a previous paper  that it is possible to study lithography to etch transfer behavior of a hotspot using SEM contours. The goal of the current paper is to go extend this methodology to quantify process variability of 2D features using a new tooling to measure contour data.
28nm metal 90nm pitch is one of the most challenging processes for computational lithography due to the resolution limit of DUV scanners and the variety of designs allowed by design rules. Classical two dimensional hotspot simulations and OPC correction isn’t sufficient to obtain required process windows for mass production. This paper shows how three dimensional resist effects like top loss and line end shortening have been calibrated and used during the OPC process in order to achieve larger process window. Yield results on 28FDSOI product have been used to benchmark and validate gain between classical OPC and R3D OPC.
At the 28nm technology node and below, hot spot prediction and process window control across production wafers have become increasingly critical. We establish proof off concept for ASML’s holistic lithography hot spot detection and defect monitoring flow, process window optimizer (PPWO), for a 228nm metal layer process. We demonstrate prediction and verification of defect occurrence on wafer that arise from focus variations exceeding process window margins of device hotspots. We also estimate the improvement potential if design aware scanner control was applied.