Presentation posted on Oct 8, 2017

Practical Approaches to Photolithography Run-to-Run Control in Leading Edge High-Mix Semiconductor Manufacturing

from Advanced Process Control (APC) Conference XXIX 2017

The modern semiconductor manufacturing process sequence is arguably the most sophisticated and unforgiving volume production technology that has ever been practiced successfully. It consists of a complex series of hundreds or even thousands of unit process steps that must be performed nearly flawlessly. Among these unit process steps, photolithography is considered the most critical step as it transfers the designed patterns onto the surface of silicon wafers and determines the minimum feature size and ultimately the performance of integrated circuits. Therefore, photolithography is one of the process areas that first adopted the run-to-run (R2R) control methodology to reduce the process variability and has been benefiting the most from it.  With the continuously decreasing device feature size and the introduction of multiple patterning technologies, photolithography R2R control has become increasingly more important and a must-have in leading edge technology nodes and high-mix manufacturing environment. Motivated by these considerations, this paper summarizes photolithography R2R techniques that one might see in semiconductor manufacturing, ranging from basic lot-level CD and overlay control to the correction per exposure (CPE) R2R control. It also discusses the possible integration of litho R2R controller with sampling and dispatching systems.

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