SPIE Advanced Lithography 2012
Conference paper

High order wafer alignment in manufacturing

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Requirements for ever tightening overlay control are driving improvements in tool set up and matching procedures, APC processes, and wafer alignment techniques in an attempt to address both systematic and non systematic sources of overlay error. Thermal processes used in semiconductor manufacturing have been shown to have drastic and unpredictable impacts on lithography overlay control. Traditional linear alignment can accommodate symmetric and linearly uniform wafer distortions even if these defects vary in magnitude wafer to wafer. However linear alignment cannot accommodate asymmetric wafer distortions caused by variations in film stresses and rapid thermal processes. Overlay improvement techniques such as Corrections per Exposure can be used to compensate for known systematic errors. However, systematic corrections applied on a lot by lot basis cannot account for variations in wafer to wafer grid distortions caused by semiconductor processing. With High Order Wafer Alignment, the sample size of wafer alignment data is significantly increased and modeled to correct for process induced grid distortions. HOWA grid corrections are calculated and applied for each wafer. Improved wafer to wafer overlay performance was demonstrated. How HOWA corrections propagate level to level in a typical alignment tree as well as the interaction of mixing and matching high order wafer alignment with traditional linear alignment used on less overlay critical levels. This evaluation included the evaluating the impact of overlay offsets added by systematic tool matching corrections, product specific corrections per exposure and 10 term APC process control. © 2012 SPIE.