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Real-time focus and overlay measurement by the use of fluorescent markers

Author: Maas, D.J. · Zwet, E.J. van
Publisher: TNO
Place: Delft
Source:SPIE Conference on Metrology, Inspection, and Process Control for Microlithography XXVIII, 23 February, 2014, San Jose, CA, USA, Vol. 9050
Identifier: 498305
Keywords: Electronics · Overlay · Lithography · Image placement · Metrology integration · Advanced process control · Multiple patterning · Fluorescence · High Tech Systems & Materials · Industrial Innovation · Physics & Electronics Mechanics, Materials and Structures · NI - Nano Instrumentation OM - Opto-Mechatronics · TS - Technical Sciences


In lithography, overlay control is getting increasingly complex. Advanced Process Control (APC) is introduced to minimize excursions from the process window for the present exposure. APC uses metrology data of previously exposed wafers, hence, there is always a delay of tens of minutes before the required information is available. This paper proposes the combination of a patterned expose beam and a patterned fluorescent marker on a wafer to generate a fluorescent signal that carries real-time information of the focus and/or position error of the expose pattern with the pattern on the wafer. A practical realization requires some changes to the exposure process, stepper design and reticle lay-out. Firstly, a matched pair of markers on the wafer and reticle is required. Secondly, the generated fluorescent signal must be measured, for example with a (spectrally filtered) photon counter close to the expose area of the wafer. At last, the markers from the previous lithography step shall, after development, be filled with fluorescent material. This deposition requires an additional process step. Photon budget calculations suggest an overlay measurement accuracy of less than a tenth of a nm (real-time).