Aberration sensitivity matching between overlay metrology targets and the device cell pattern has become a common requirement on the latest DRAM process nodes. While the extreme illumination modes used demand that the delta in aberration sensitivity must be optimized, it is effectively limited by the ability to print an optimum target that will meet detectability and accuracy requirements. Therefore, advanced OPC techniques are required to ensure printability and have optimal detectability performance while maintaining sufficient process window to avoid patterning or defectivity issues.
In this paper, we have compared various mark designs with real cell in terms of aberration sensitivity under the specific illumination condition. The specific illumination model was used for aberration sensitivity simulation while varying mask tones and target designs. Then, diffraction based simulation was conducted to analyze the effect of aberration sensitivity on the actual overlay values. The simulation results were confirmed by comparing the OL results obtained by diffraction based metrology with the cell level OL values obtained using Critical Dimension Scanning Electron Microscope.
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.
DRAM chip space is mainly determined by the size of the memory cell array patterns which consist of periodic memory cell features and edges of the periodic array. Resolution Enhancement Techniques (RET) are used to optimize the periodic pattern process performance. Computational Lithography such as source mask optimization (SMO) to find the optimal off axis illumination and optical proximity correction (OPC) combined with model based SRAF placement are applied to print patterns on target. For 20nm Memory Cell optimization we see challenges that demand additional tool competence for layout optimization. The first challenge is a memory core pattern of brick-wall type with a k1 of 0.28, so it allows only two spectral beams to interfere. We will show how to analytically derive the only valid geometrically limited source. Another consequence of two-beam interference limitation is a ”super stable” core pattern, with the advantage of high depth of focus (DoF) but also low sensitivity to proximity corrections or changes of contact aspect ratio. This makes an array edge correction very difficult. The edge can be the most critical pattern since it forms the transition from the very stable regime of periodic patterns to non-periodic periphery, so it combines the most critical pitch and highest susceptibility to defocus. Above challenge makes the layout correction to a complex optimization task demanding a layout optimization that finds a solution with optimal process stability taking into account DoF, exposure dose latitude (EL), mask error enhancement factor (MEEF) and mask manufacturability constraints. This can only be achieved by simultaneously considering all criteria while placing and sizing SRAFs and main mask features. The second challenge is the use of a negative tone development (NTD) type resist, which has a strong resist effect and is difficult to characterize experimentally due to negative resist profile taper angles that perturb CD at bottom characterization by scanning electron microscope (SEM) measurements. High resist impact and difficult model data acquisition demand for a simulation model that hat is capable of extrapolating reliably beyond its calibration dataset. We use rigorous simulation models to provide that predictive performance. We have discussed the need of a rigorous mask optimization process for DRAM contact cell layout yielding mask layouts that are optimal in process performance, mask manufacturability and accuracy. In this paper, we have shown the step by step process from analytical illumination source derivation, a NTD and application tailored model calibration to layout optimization such as OPC and SRAF placement. Finally the work has been verified with simulation and experimental results on wafer.
As the industry pushes to ever more complex illumination schemes to increase resolution for next generation memory
and logic circuits; subresolution 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. AF placement algorithms can be categorized broadly as either rule-based (RB), model-based
(MB). However, combining these different algorithms into new integrated solutions may enable a more optimal overall
RBAF is the baseline AF placement method for many previous technology nodes. Although RBAF algorithm
complexity limits its use with very extreme illumination, RBAF is still a powerful option in certain scenarios. One
example is for repeating patterns in memory arrays. RBAF algorithms can be finely optimized and verified
experimentally without the building of complex models. RBAF also guarantees AF placement consistency based only
on the very local geometric environment, which is important in applications where consistent signal propagation is of
MBAF algorithms deliver the ability to reliably place assist features for enhanced process window control across a wide
variety of layout feature configurations and aggressive illumination sources. These methods optimize sophisticated AF
placement to improve main feature PW but without performing full main feature OPC. The flexibility of MBAF allows
for efficient investigations of future technology nodes as the number of interactions between local layout features
increases beyond what RBAF algorithms can effectively support
Based on hybrid approach algorithms combining features of the different algorithms using both RBAF and MBAF
methods, the generation and placement of SRAF can be a good alternative. Combining of two kinds of SRAF placement
options might result in relatively improved process window compared to an independent approach since two methods
are capable of supplement each other with a complementary advantages.
In this paper we evaluate the impact of SRAF configuration to pattern profile as well as CD margin window and
manufacturing applications of MBAF and Hybrid approach algorithms compared to the current OPC without AF. As a
conclusion, we suggest methodology to set up optimum SRAF configuration using these AF methods with regard to