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Our goal is to develop measurements that quantify the shape, size, orientation, and fidelity of nanoscale patterns as a platform to quantitatively evaluate nanofabrication and assembly processes. NIST provides stakeholders in these fields with measurement technology that provides potential solutions to several of the Grand Challenges identified in the International Technology Roadmap for Semiconductors (ITRS) for metrology in emerging technologies that currently have no apparent solution.
Small Angle Scattering techniques are employed to measure, with sub-nm precision, pattern shape, dimensions, and orientation for structures created in periodic arrays. Critical-Dimension Small Angle X-ray Scattering (CD-SAXS) utilizes the variable-angle transmission scattering from a small beam size (100 x 100 um) to provide detailed shape and dimensional data for 10 nm to 500 nm structures placed with high uniformity in pitch. A lab-scale prototype at NIST complements current optical scatterometry, CD-AFM, and CD-SEM methods. It can easily quantify the pattern shape in arrays of nanostructures with periodicities in the range of 10 nm to 500 nm with sub-nm precision, is non-destructive, is capable of quantifying buried or free-standing patterns, and is straight-forward to interpret via scattering theory. These unique dimensional measurements are applied to evaluate emerging nanofabrication processes including extreme ultraviolet lithography, electron beam lithography, and directed self-assembly.
Additional Technical Details:
In order to meet future challenges from thermal and power efficiency requirements of sub-22 nm technology nodes, transistor architecture is migrating from planar to non-planar structures. These structures, such as the tri-gate and FinFET products, feature increased complexity in pattern shape and nanoscale conformal coatings. Current measurement platforms are challenged by the small dimensions inherent in these structures, where diminishingly small variations in composition and dimensions will reduce or eliminate device functionality.We have used CD-SAXS to non-destructively characterize the thickness and, to a limited extent the uniformity of the thickness, of the conformal high-k dielectric layer. We have also shown CD-SAXS to be sensitive to changes in the top rounding and bottom undercut of non-planar transistor structures.
We have demonstrated this capability of X-ray based scatterometry by measuring high-k dielectric layers deposited from 0 to 10nm in thickness over grating patterns with a nominal critical dimension of 20 nm. For these patterns, CD-SAXS provides high precision data on average high-k dielectric thickness, line width (CD), and pitch. In addition, the measurement has the capability to measure the average top layer thickness and the dielectric thickness on the pattern sidewall independently, providing a measure of uniformity.
Directed Self-Assembly of Block Copolymers (DSA-BCP) for Lithography:
We have developed a suite of theory, modeling, and simulation tools in order to elucidate the morphology and thermal fluctuations in block copolymer systems for lithographic applications. Specifically, we have used polymer self-consistent field theory and stochastic polymer field theory to examine the qualitative features of lamellar block copolymer grating cross sections. These gratings—a model system for the block copolymer lithography community—were then characterized with X-ray diffraction, where the diffraction data was analyzed via a least-squared fit to a multiparameter geometric model that was constrained by our simulation results. We have also developed stochastic field theoretic methods to model and simulate the line edge roughness power spectrum in block copolymer systems, and, again, these results will be incorporated into diffraction models for line edge roughness metrology.
Start Date:October 1, 2008
Lead Organizational Unit:mml
MSE Division Small Angle X-ray Facility
Project Summary (PDF)