TEM calibration methods for critical dimension standards
Metrology, Inspection, and Process Control for Microlithography XXI
One of the key challenges in critical dimension (CD) metrology is finding suitable calibration standards. Over the last few years there has been some interest in using features measured with the transmission electron microscope (TEM) as primary standards for linewidth measurements. This is because some modes of TEM can produce lattice-resolved images having scale traceability to the SI (Système International d'Unites or International System of Units) definition of length through an atomic
... e constant. As interest in using calibration samples that are closer to the length scales being measured increases, so will the use of these TEM techniques. An area where lattice-traceable images produced by TEM has been used as a primary standard is in critical dimension atomic force microscope (CD-AFM) tip width calibration. Two modes of TEM that produce crystal lattice-traceable images are high resolution transmission electron microscope (HR-TEM) and high angle annular dark field scanning transmission electron microscope (HAADF-STEM). HR-TEM produces lattice-traceable images by interference patterns of the diffracted and transmitted beams rather than the actual atomic columns, while HAADF-STEM produces direct images of the crystal lattice. The difference in how both of these techniques work could cause subtle variations in the way feature edges are defined. In this paper, we present results from width samples measured using HR-TEM and HAADF-STEM. Next we compare the results with measurements taken from the same location by two different CD-AFMs. Both of the CD-AFM instruments used for this work have been calibrated using a single crystal critical dimension reference material (SCCDRM). These standards, developed by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and SEMATECH, used HR-TEM for traceable tip-width calibration. Consequently, the present work and the previous SCCDRM work provide a mutual cross-check on the traceability of the width calibration. Excellent agreement was observed.