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3D Advanced Metrology and materials for advanced devices

Periodic Reporting for period 3 - 3DAM (3D Advanced Metrology and materials for advanced devices)

Reporting period: 2018-04-01 to 2019-03-31

With new products and processes based on sub-14 nm technology nodes being introduced into IC manufacturing at an accelerated rate, yield learning and ramping up to levels that can economically sustain High Volume Manufacturing (HVM) are becoming more challenging. The 3DAM aimed to make a step beyond a mere evolutionary development of metrology to meet the challenges of the semiconductor Integrated Device Manufacturers (IDM’s). Covering a wide range of expertise from hardware, system and software oriented companies, including metrology equipment manufacturers, knowledge institutes / RTO’s and IDMs, the 3DAM consortium opened the path to new generations of metrology and characterization tools and processes, needed for the next semiconductor technology nodes. These nodes are characterized by essentially three-dimensional transistor designs (gate all-around nanowire channels) with very small dimensions (channel diameter below 7 nm), by application of new materials, including alloys under strained condition and by ever smaller TSV’s for back-end integration. Innovative, new 3D metrology tools, methods and solutions are needed for accelerated process and device development (in LAB and FAB), as well as for yield ramp-up and process monitoring. The 3DAM project developed State of the art innovative metrology solutions introducing capabilities that are currently not available. These innovative tools will generate the required process information needed to ensure shortest technology development cycles and economically viable ramp-up rates, also for these complex sub 10 nm technology nodes.

The 3DAM main objective is stated as follows: 3DAM will be a pathfinding project addressing fundamental challenges in metrology and analytical techniques, imposed by demands set by new lithography, materials and device architectures needed in More Moore and More than Moore roadmaps.
In total 12 Milestones have been reached successfully and 32 deliverables have been submitted, as evidenced by extensive and comprehensive reports.
As part of the dissemination activities, three major public workshops have been successfully held at the end of each year, presenting State of the art results of the 3DAM project to large audiences, including world leading companies in the semiconductor ICs market.
Over 87 conferences, papers and workshop contributions have been made by the consortium during the project, including 1 invited talk, 3 PhD and 2 Master theses. The partners exploitation plan includes 20 tangible, exploitable results from the partners, fit for further product development and 10 (potential) patent applications. As a direct outcome of this project, a follow-up ECSEL IA project MADEin4 has just started to develop further the proof of concepts and new methods (TRL 5-6) explored in 3DAM / into products relevant high-volume semicon production environment (TRL 7-8).
As mentioned the 3DAM main objective is stated as follows: 3DAM will be a pathfinding project addressing fundamental challenges in metrology and analytical techniques, imposed by demands set by new lithography, materials and device architectures needed in More Moore and More than Moore roadmaps. The main achievements beyond the State of the art are listed below:

Objective 1: Research and develop (combinations of) new 3D structural and dimensional metrology techniques with 5x better precision and throughput.
Overall achievements towards Obj 1: Developments of new FEOL 3D metrology tools such as 3D CD-SEM and 3D-SPM have been explored and promise to yield the expected improvements. Alternative methods to extract 3D TEM data from sub-nm features have been developed and tested, yielding TRL 5 level performance.

Objective 2: Research and develop new techniques for determination of composition, crystal defects and strain in transistor stacks with a 5x better performance.
Overall achievements towards Obj 2: Techniques for improved (local) composition measurements have been developed very successfully meeting the x5 improved performance. Examples include model-based IR, SEM-EDX and TEM-EDX as well as a new ultra-low energy SIMStool. For strain and stress, especially the (in-line) Raman and HR-XRD developments were very successful; and these could be verified using (off-line) Precession Electron Diffraction measurements in TEM. It is clear that measurement of strain (stress) cannot be evaluated correctly without simultaneous evaluation of (local) composition.

Objective 3: Research and develop hybrid and correlative metrology techniques yielding results adequate for the control of new technology nodes N14 – N5 and beyond
Overall achievements towards obj 3: Several hybrid and correlative workflows have been evaluated successfully:
- Non-destructive wafer-scale measurements (LEXES) were combined with SIMS as an intermediate (wafer-scale-destructive) technique towards local “golden standard” of TEM-EDX measurements for composition determination.
- Non-destructive wafer-scale assessment of defects and composition (SEM-CL) was combined with off-line TEM measurements assessing both strain as well as composition.
- Raman was combined with HR-XRD and AV-XRF for more accurate and faster measurement of strain and composition
- Raman was combined with TEM for evaluation of strain in a very local way; and verified with TEM-PED.

Objective 4: Research and develop techniques for the characterization of electrical properties of transistor structures and structured 2D materials.
Overall achievements towards Obj4: Several new technologies have been explored in the project; though most of these are still at lower TRL. Scanning probe electrical measurements have been advanced to the level where they yield true 3D results and can be used routinely in the lab. Raman methods have been very successfully developed for investigating MX2 materials, and M4PP has been successfully developed to measure electrical properties in (20 nm wide) fins.

Objective 5: Research and develop (combinations of) technologies for in-line metrology and off-line characterization of future BeoL structures with a 5x increased resolution and throughput.
Overall achievements towards Obj 5: In-line as well as off-line tools for BeoL geometrical measurements have been successfully developed, meeting the x5 improvement target. A new in-line optical metrology tool, combining various optical modes was can measure TSV properties such as CD, SWA and depth. An off-line nanoXray microscope was prototyped which yielded the expected improvement in sample throughput time as well as resolution.

The overall impact of this project is to supply Semiconductor IDM’s with cost-effective metrology solutions, which will:
• Enable faster device, process and full module developments
• Enable faster ramp-up to full production
• Enable higher yields and faster response to yield excursions in High Volume manufacturing
Leading to a faster and less costly execution of the Semiconductor roadmaps.