SPIE Advanced Lithography 2010
Conference paper

CD-SEM metrology of spike detection on sub-40 nm contact holes

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In this work, for the purpose of contact-hole process control, new metrics for contact-hole edge roughness (CER) are being proposed. The metrics are correlated to lithographic process variation which result in increased electric fields; a primary driver of time-dependent dielectric breakdown (TDDB). Electric field strength at the tip of spoke-shaped CER has been simulated; and new hole-feature metrics have been introduced. An algorithm for defining critical features like spoke angle, spoke length, etc has been defined. In addition, a method for identifying at-risk holes has been demonstrated. The number of spike holes can determine slight defocus conditions that are not detected though the conventional CER metrics. The newly proposed metrics can identify contact holes with a propensity for increased electric field concentration and are expected to improve contact-hole reliability in the sub-40-nm contact-hole process. © 2010 Copyright SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering.