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PROVision™ 2E eBeam Inspection

As design rules scale into the single-digit nodes and device architectures become denser and more complex, fabrication processes involve more steps, process control limits become tighter, and killer defects become so small they are undetectable using optical wafer inspection.

EUVL and multi-patterning—essential at leading-edge nodes—introduce variability often referred to as EUV stochastics and etch variations. These consume a large part of the edge placement error (EPE) budget, posing a major restriction on continued scaling. Remaining within that budget (i.e., within specifications) requires minimizing key EPE contributors (CD variation, overlay, pattern placement, pitch walk, and line edge roughness). As these attributes are presently gauged by different metrology technologies, simply matching these techniques amongst several tools might consume the entire EPE budget.

The PROVision 2E system delivers the solution to this critical scaling issue—a system that measures all EPE contributors from a single image, thus enabling process systems for etch, deposition, CMP, etc. to be optimized to jointly minimize EPE. Notably, its Elluminator™ technology was developed especially for extreme back-scattered electron efficiency in metrology and inspection applications for which they are the primary signal (e.g., overlay, underlayer imaging, and high aspect ratio features). These unique capabilities have made the system the industry standard for facilitating EPE minimization in EUV and multi-patterning processes.

To shorten ramp time and optimize yields in volume production, the distribution of process variations (process signatures) must be promptly discerned to expedite correction of the root cause. This challenge makes rapid defect discovery and characterization ever more crucial at the same time as micro bridges, void defects, and process marginality-induced defects are becoming harder to detect. The PROVision 2E system is uniquely able to detect small, high aspect ratio, and under-layer defects, and measure massive CDU, from which it generates highly detailed, accurate, and fast process variation characterization across the entire wafer. By offering inspection and measurement in one tool, the PROVision 2E system saves production costs and improves yield.

Leveraging Applied’s more than 20-year experience in e-beam development and application, the PROVision 2E system leads the market in resolution, imaging quality, and throughput. It offers a best-in-class, production-proven column; resolution down to 1nm; Elluminator technology coupled with high landing energy, and new algorithms for the most challenging high aspect ratio, overlay, and under-layer applications; improved navigation for extreme accuracy; and sampling throughput 10 times faster than its predecessor.