The strengths of and challenges facing electron-based metrology for post-CMOS technology are reviewed. Directed self-assembly, nanophotonics/plasmonics, and resistive switches and selectors, are examined as exemplars of important post-CMOS technologies. Materials, devices, and architectures emerging from these technologies pose new metrology requirements: defect detection, possibly subsurface, in soft materials, accurate measurement of size, shape, and roughness of structures for nanophotonic devices, contamination-free measurement of surface- sensitive structures, and identification of subtle structural, chemical, or electronic changes of state associated with switching in non-volatile memory elements. Electron-beam techniques are examined in the light of these emerging requirements. The strong electron-matter interaction provides measurable signal from small sample features, rendering electron-beam methods more suitable than most for nanometer-scale metrology, but as is to be expected solutions to many of the measurement challenges are yet to be demonstrated. The seeds of possible solutions are identified when they are available.
scanning electron microscopy, transmission electron microscopy, critical dimension metrology