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Fundamental Limits of Optical Patterned Defect Metrology



Richard M. Silver, Bryan Barnes, Martin Sohn, Hui Zhou, Jing Qin


The semiconductor manufacturing industry is now facing serious challenges in achieving defect detection rates with acceptable throughput and accuracy. With conventional bright-field and dark-field inspection methods now at their limits, it has become essential to explore alternative optical methods such as angle-resolved scatterfield microscopy, 193 nm short wavelength solutions, and coherent illumination solutions. In this paper we evaluate new optical illumination engineering techniques recently developed at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). This methodology, using a scatterfield optical microscope, is evaluated through simulation and experiment using die-to-die defect detection methods for several defect types on predefined intentional defect array (IDA) wafers, demonstrating its capability for extending high throughput defect inspection beyond the 22 nm node. We investigate source optimization for angle and polarization resolved illumination, measurement wavelengths down to 193 nm and interference microscopy using electromagnetic simulations and laboratory apparatus. In addition, we report the systematic evaluation of defect sensitivity as a function of illumination wavelength.
Proceedings Title
AIP Proceedings
Conference Dates
May 23-26, 2011
Conference Location
Grenoble, FR
Conference Title
2011 International Conference on Frontiers of Characterization and Metrology for Nanoelectronics


Silver, R. , Barnes, B. , Sohn, M. , Zhou, H. and Qin, J. (2011), Fundamental Limits of Optical Patterned Defect Metrology, AIP Proceedings, Grenoble, FR, [online], (Accessed April 19, 2024)
Created November 13, 2011, Updated October 12, 2021