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March 13th, 2008
Reference Metrology Standards: The Looming Nanotech Crisis
As nanotechnology becomes prevalent,and lithography workarounds like double patterning manuever into the mainstream, it is evident that for crucial measurements to continue providing reliable results, instrument calibration — reference metrology — acquires unprecedented importance.
At the SPIE Advanced Lithography Conference recently held in San Jose, a panel discussion on reference metrology highlighted some of the hurdles faced by device manufacturers in obtaining the metrology needed to calibrate various tools to perform required measurements. One of the moderators, Ronald Dixson, is a senior scientist at the AFM Dimensional Metrology group of the Precision Engineering Division of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST, Gaithersburg, Md.). "A recurring theme in reference metrology and the standards needed is the requirement to address sample-to-sample bias variation and that bias' dependence on secondary characteristics," he said, mentioning the dependence of bottom CD in a CD-SEM on the sidewall as the classic example. A perennial argument deals with throughput and accuracy trade-offs in reference metrology. "Reference metrology is perceived as referring to a range of tools that, although they provide greater accuracy, aren't used for inline metrology because of throughput and speed requirements."
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