Characterization and control of EUV scanner dose uniformity and stability
The EUV source is an impressive feat of engineering that provides 13.5 nm radiation by vaporizing tin droplets with a high power CO2 laser and focusing the photons produced in the resultant plasma into the scanner illumination system. Great strides have been made in addressing the many potential stability challenges, but there are still residual spatial and temporal dose non-uniformity signatures. Since even small dose errors can impact the yieldable process window for the advanced lithography products that are exposed on EUV scanners it is crucial to monitor and control the dose variability. Using on-board metrology, the EUV scanner outputs valuable metrics that provide real time insight into the dose performance. We have supplemented scanner data collection with a wafer based methodology that provides high throughput, high sensitivity, quantitative characterization of the EUV scanner dose delivery. The technique uses open frame EUV exposures, so it is exclusive of lithographic pattern imaging, exclusive of lithographic mask pattern and not limited by placement of metrology features. Processed wafers are inspected rapidly, providing 20,000 pixels of detail per exposure field in approximately one minute. Exposing the wafer on the scanner with a bit less than the resist E0 (open frame clearing dose) results in good sensitivity to small variations in the EUV dose delivered. The nominal exposure dose can be modulated by field to calibrate the inspection results and provide quantitative assessment of variations with < 1% sensitivity. This technique has been used for dose uniformity assessments. It is also being used for long term dose stability monitoring and has proven valuable for short term dose stability follow up investigations.