Charged Particle Beam Processing System with Visual and Infrared Imaging
1. A charged particle beam system for processing a substrate, comprising:
- a charged particle column, configured to produce a beam of charged particles which can be focused on the surface of the substrate;
an in-vacuum optical subsystem, configured to collect scattered infrared radiation and visible light from the surface and regions near the surface of the substrate;
a precision stage, configured to transport the substrate alternately between a location under the in-vacuum optical subsystem and a location under the charged particle column;
an illumination subsystem, configured to provide infrared radiation and visible light to the surface of the substrate; and
an imaging subsystem, configured to focus the scattered infrared radiation and visible light collected by the in-vacuum optical subsystem onto one or more detectors.
A charged particle beam system for processing substrates is disclosed, comprising a charged particle column, combination infrared radiation and visible light illumination and imaging subsystems, in-vacuum optics, and a precision stage for supporting and positioning the substrate alternately under the charged particle column and the imaging system. The axes of the charged particle column and imaging system are offset to enable much closer working distances for both imaging and beam processing than would be possible in a single integrated assembly. A method for extremely accurately calibrating the offset between the column and imaging system is disclosed, enabling beam processing at precisely-determined locations on the substrate. The imaging system is capable of locating sub-surface features on the substrate which cannot be seen using the charged particle beam. Two illumination modes are disclosed, enabling both bright-field and dark-field imaging in infrared radiation and visible light.
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- 1. A charged particle beam system for processing a substrate, comprising:
a charged particle column, configured to produce a beam of charged particles which can be focused on the surface of the substrate; an in-vacuum optical subsystem, configured to collect scattered infrared radiation and visible light from the surface and regions near the surface of the substrate; a precision stage, configured to transport the substrate alternately between a location under the in-vacuum optical subsystem and a location under the charged particle column; an illumination subsystem, configured to provide infrared radiation and visible light to the surface of the substrate; and an imaging subsystem, configured to focus the scattered infrared radiation and visible light collected by the in-vacuum optical subsystem onto one or more detectors.
- View Dependent Claims (2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14)
- 15. A method for calibrating the distance between the axis of an optical imaging subsystem and the axis of a charged particle column, comprising the steps of:
configuring a charged particle column to produce a focused charged particle beam on a substrate surface; configuring an optical imaging system to form an image of the substrate surface; configuring a stage to transport the substrate alternately between a location under the optical imaging subsystem and a location under the charged particle column; mounting the charged particle column and the optical imaging system with a fixed relative offset distance; positioning the substrate using the stage initially under the imaging system and centering an expendable feature on the axis of the imaging subsystem; transporting the substrate to a location under the charged particle column, where the transport distance corresponds to the expected offset between the imaging subsystem and the charged particle column; forming a first structure on the substrate using charged particle beam processing; transporting the substrate to a location under the imaging subsystem, where the transport distance is exactly opposite to the expected offset between the imaging subsystem and the charged particle column; imaging the first structure formed by charged particle beam processing and determining the offset of the first structure with respect to the expendable feature, wherein the offset corresponds to the difference between the actual and the expected offset between the imaging subsystem and the charged particle column; transporting the substrate to a location under the charged particle column, wherein the transport distance is calibrated using the offset just determined, thereby enabling the stage to position the expendable feature much more precisely under the charged particle column; forming a second structure on the substrate using charged particle beam processing; transporting the substrate to a location under the imaging subsystem, where the transport distance is exactly opposite to the calibrated offset between the imaging subsystem and the charged particle column; imaging the second structure formed by charged particle beam processing, thereby verifying the accuracy of the offset calibration; transporting the substrate to a location under the charged particle column, wherein the transport distance is modified by the offset between a critical feature to be processed and the expendable feature, thereby positioning the critical feature directly under the charged particle column; and forming a third structure on the substrate using charged particle beam processing, wherein the third structure has the required size, shape for the desired processing, and wherein the third structure is directly above the critical feature.
- View Dependent Claims (16)
This application claims priority from U.S. Prov. App. 61/362,381 filed Jul. 8, 2010, which is hereby incorporate by reference.
The present invention relates to charged particle beam processing systems.
Processing of substrates by means of focused charged particle beams is a well-established technique in a wide range of technological areas, in particular, semiconductor manufacturing. Often, it is desired to perform processing of structures on a semiconductor device, where these structures are buried beneath several microns of material (such as silicon) which is opaque to visible light. Near-infrared (NIR) imaging has an advantage of being able to penetrate through these layers, however, with reduced spatial resolution due to the longer wavelengths of NIR light. Visible light has some ability to penetrate these layers, as well.
One example of a charged particle beam process is back-side circuit editing, applicable to flip-chip devices, where the only way to access internal regions of the devices in the circuit is by removing material from the back of the chip, typically with focused ion beam (FIB) milling. After a sufficient amount of material has been milled away, the circuit layers can be imaged using visible light to locate the exact device positions for charged particle beam processing, such as cutting and adding interconnects.
Another example of a charged particle beam process is front-side circuit editing. Often, the layers of interest for processing may be beneath 1-5 μm of silicon, which is largely opaque to visible light (for λ<1.1 μm, corresponding to the bandgap energy of silicon). When bright-field imaging (where the illumination is normal to the substrate surface) is attempted using visible light, there is generally too much absorption to enable imaging of these buried structures, plus, reflected light off the substrate surface interferes with light scattered from within the device, resulting in loss of image contrast. Using dark-field imaging (where the visible light illumination of the device is at a glancing angle to the substrate), imaging is possible, since the reflected light from the substrate surface does not contribute to the overall image.
Thus, there is a need for both near-infrared imaging (with superior depth penetration through silicon) and visible light imaging (with superior spatial resolution due to the shorter wavelength) for use in locating structures within semiconductor devices which are to be processed with a charged particle beam.
In some systems combining both optical imaging for navigation (i.e., locating areas for beam processing) and charged particle beam processing columns, the imaging and processing subsystems are integrated together within a small volume, where both the imaging and processing may be performed without the need for substrate motion. A generally serious limitation of these implementations is that the imaging and processing subsystems physically interfere with each other due to their respective diameters. Also, it is not possible for both imaging and processing to be perpendicular to the substrate surface. Both these disadvantages tend to limit the achievable spatial resolutions, both for imaging and for the subsequent beam processing steps. Thus, alternative system designs have been used in which the axes of the imaging subsystem and the charged particle column are separated and the substrate is moved between the two subsystems, alternatively being imaged and then processed, often over many cycles, where the imaging process serves for both initially locating regions before processing begins and then for endpoint detection during processing. In these implementations with physically separated imaging and processing subsystems, it is obviously necessary to know the separation of these two subsystems very precisely.
Structures near or at the surface of a substrate, such as a microcircuit, may not be easily imaged using the charged particle beam. The difficulty in charged particle beam imaging may arise due to lack of sufficient image contrast, or due to the fact that the charged particle beam may induce damage, such as milling or contamination, as a result of the imaging process. Thus, it is useful to have an imaging process that does not damage the substrate prior to processing. In some charged particle beam processing systems, an optical imaging capability is integrated into the same physical region of the system as the charged particle beam. However, in these systems, there is typically a difficulty in optimizing either the imaging or the beam processing due to physical interference between the imaging and processing subsystems. Often this results in increased working distances for both the imaging and processing subsystems, resulting in loss of spatial resolution for both imaging and processing.
An object of the present invention is to provide a method for integrating a combined near-infrared and visible light imaging capability into a charged particle beam processing system.
Embodiments of the invention physically separate the imaging subsystem from the charged particle beam processing subsystem, and then transport the substrate to be processed between the imaging and processing regions of the overall system. This may typically require a precision stage to support and transport the substrate. Such stages inevitably have some degree of positional error. This error translates into a potential source of error in the location of the charged particle beam processing location on the substrate, relative to the desired location as determined by the imaging subsystem. Some embodiments of the present invention provide a method for very accurately determining the (open-loop) positioning error, and then for correcting this error (closing the loop) by modifying the substrate position or by deflecting the processing beam.
The foregoing has outlined rather broadly the features and technical advantages of the present invention in order that the detailed description of the invention that follows may be better understood. Additional features and advantages of the invention will be described hereinafter. It should be appreciated by those skilled in the art that the conception and specific embodiment disclosed may be readily utilized as a basis for modifying or designing other structures for carrying out the same purposes of the present invention. It should also be realized by those skilled in the art that such equivalent constructions do not depart from the spirit and scope of the invention as set forth in the appended claims.
For a more thorough understanding of the present invention, and advantages thereof, reference is now made to the following descriptions taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, in which:
Near-infrared (NIR) microscopy is very useful for locating and imaging structures buried by materials that are transparent to NIR wavelengths (λ>700 nm), e.g. microcircuitry in silicon. NIR, however, has limited spatial resolution due to its relatively long wavelengths. Visible (VIS) wavelengths are considerably shorter (700>λ>400 nm) and thus a visible wavelength camera may have considerably higher spatial resolution, however, the optical transmissivity of silicon at visible wavelengths is very low. NIR imaging may be used to locate buried structures and VIS imaging may be used for surface features or viewing through relatively thin layers of material (e.g. silicon). Charged particle columns are commonly used for various types of patterned processing of substrates. Focused ion beam columns are used to mill into semiconductor devices to enable the imaging of semiconductor device structures such as metallization, vias, contacts, gates, etc. Electron beam columns, combined with precursor gas feed systems, may perform electron beam-induced etching of substrates or electron beam-induced deposition onto substrates. All of these charged particle columns are comprised in the present invention, with the terminology “CP-columns”
In all imaging optical systems, the size of the focused spot, or the optical resolution, tends to be adversely affected by larger working distances. In order to reduce the working distances, it is typically necessary to position the CP-column very near the substrate surface. This makes it difficult or impossible to achieve small enough working distances for the optical imaging system. Thus, the charged particle processing system of some embodiments of the present invention physically separates the optical imaging system from the charged particle column in order to avoid difficulties in integrating the two systems within a small region. In order to both image and process substrates, a precision stage mechanism is provided for transporting the substrate back-and-forth between the NIR/VIS imaging system and the CP-column. The optical axes of the optical imaging system and the CP-column are thus separated by a distance much larger (e.g., 54 mm) than the scan field of the CP-column or the imaging field of view of the optical system. One difficulty with this separated axis approach is the precise calibration of the locations of the two axes with respect to each other. Such a calibration is necessary in order to locate features optically, and then process these features with the CP-column.
Embodiments of the invention comprise means for imaging at both NIR and VIS wavelengths combined with several types of CP-columns within a charged particle processing system. In some embodiments, imaging at both NIR and VIS may be performed simultaneously using separate NIR and VIS imaging detectors. In other embodiments, a single detector may alternate between NIR and VIS imaging. Multiple types of illuminators are comprised by the invention, along with both normal (bright-field) and grazing incidence (dark-field) illumination systems. This invention includes the uses of a tilted vacuum viewport for use of the microscope in vacuum systems. The tilted viewport eliminates reflections (from top-down bright-field illumination) without the need for anti-reflecting coatings. This is a preferred solution since achieving low reflection with coated optics is difficult due to the wide wavelength requirements (0.3 to >2 microns).
All embodiments of the charged particle processing system of the present invention comprise five preferred subsystems, each briefly characterized in the following sections, and in more detail in the descriptions of the four embodiments.
The optical illumination subsystem provides the source of near-infrared (NIR) and visible (VIS) light to the substrate to be processed. Various possible illumination sources are possible within the present invention, including, but not confined to, the following:
a) A single, broad-spectrum light source, such as a halogen lamp.
b) A dual light source, in which a first source provides mostly NIR radiation, and a second source provides mostly VIS radiation, and in which both light sources operate in parallel.
c) A dual light source, in which a first source provides mostly NIR radiation, and a second source provides mostly VIS radiation, and in which the two light sources operate independently of each other. In this illumination configuration, the optical illumination subsystem at any one time may be providing only NIR light, only VIS light, or a combination of both NIR and VIS light. The relative intensities of the NIR and VIS sources may also be adjusted to compensate for any relative detection sensitivity differences between the NIR and VIS detectors.
Also comprised within the illumination subsystem, may be one or more diffusers, lenses, and beam-splitting mirrors, as discussed in
The optical imaging subsystem receives NIR and VIS light transmitted into the air from the in-vacuum light optics through a tilted view port on the main vacuum enclosure. The optical imaging system uses this light from near and at the substrate surface to form images of features within the substrate. These images enable the location and characterization of both pre-existing features on the substrate, as well as the results of processing of the substrate by the CP-column (milling, electron-beam induced etching, electron-beam induced deposition, etc.). While the four embodiments of the present invention described herein comprise three different exemplary optical imaging subsystems, other optical imaging subsystems are possible within the extent of the present invention:
a) Separate NIR and VIS cameras with a beam-splitter for light separation. The first and second embodiments comprise this camera configuration, illustrated in
b) A single camera with sensitivity for both NIR and VIS light is comprised in the third embodiment of
c) A single camera with dual CCD detector arrays, one example being the AD-080 CL multi-spectral camera manufactured by JAI and illustrated in the fourth embodiment of
The in-vacuum light optics perform two preferred functions:
a) Transmitting NIR and VIS light from the optical illumination subsystem to the substrate surface to enable bright-field imaging.
b) Collecting and transmitting scattered NIR and VIS light from at and near the substrate surface to the tilted view port on the main vacuum enclosure. Further details on the operational and design requirements for the in-vacuum light optics are discussed below for the four embodiments of the present invention described herein.
As discussed above, at least three types of charged-particle columns may be utilized within the scope of the present invention, including focused ion beam columns configured for ion beam milling, electron beam columns configured for electron-beam induced etching, and electron beam columns configured for electron-beam induced deposition. Preferred requirements for all these types of CP-columns are:
a) High or ultra-high vacuum—this is generally provided by a combination of one or more of the following: turbo pumps, cryopumps, diffusion pumps, scroll pumps for rough down and backing of the turbo pumps or diffusion pumps, etc. Pumping systems are well known to those skilled in the art and are not part of the present invention.
b) Electrical feedthroughs—typically required to provide voltages and currents to control various charged particle beam lenses, deflectors, blankers, etc. In some cases, feedthroughs for cooling fluids (liquids or gases) may also be required.
c) For electron-beam induced etch and deposition processes requiring etchant or deposition precursor gases, feedthroughs for these gases may be necessary. Details of the design of the CP-column, pumping systems, and feedthroughs are well known to those skilled in the art.
The main vacuum chamber contains the in-vacuum light optics, the precision substrate stage, and all or part of the CP-column. Other elements which may be comprised in this subassembly include one or more fiber optics for transmitting NIR and VIS light to the substrate surface as discussed in the optical illumination subsystem, above. Also, a gas-feed subsystem may be provided to enable electron-beam induced etch and deposition processes. The precision stage will typically comprise at least two motion axes and drive mechanisms, as well as positional measurement means such as encoders or laser interferometers. The design of vacuum chambers, precision stages, and CP-columns is familiar to those skilled in the art.
A preferred element of the main vacuum enclosure is the tilted view port through which the NIR and VIS light from the optical illumination subsystem is directed to the substrate surface for bright-field imaging. This view port also enables scattered light collected by the in-vacuum optics to be transmitted out into the air, and hence to the optical imaging subsystem. Details of the design of this view port are discussed in
Precision stage 134 is within main vacuum enclosure 122, which also contains the CP-column 140, the objective lens 128, optical shield 126, and substrate 132 supported by stage 134. Illumination 136 strikes the surface of substrate 132 at a glancing angle, enabling dark-field imaging, as discussed in
The optical illumination subsystem 102 comprises a broad-spectrum single light source 104, which may typically be enclosed by a reflector (not shown) to maximize light collection efficiency. On the axis 184 of the illumination subsystem 102, may be other elements such as an (optional) diffuser 106, a collimating lens 108, and a partially-reflective mirror 112. Bi-directional arrow 114 illustrates the bi-directional nature of the light between the tilted view port 120 and the partially-reflective mirror 112. Light 110 from light source 104 passes through (optional) diffuser 106 and is collimated by lens 108. That portion of light 110 which is reflected by mirror 112 is represented by the downward-directed part of arrow 114, passing on through tilted view port 120 and into the in-vacuum optical subsystem. The scattered light from the substrate which passes back through up tilted view port 120 is represented by the upward-directed part of arrow 114. A portion of the downward-directed light from the optical illumination subsystem is reflected off the outer and inner surfaces of the view port 120, as illustrated by arrow 130. The reason for tilting view port 120 can now be seen—if view port 120 were not tilted (typically with an angle 124 of approximately 83° to the optical axis 162, that is, a normal to the surface is tilted about 7° from the optical axis 110) then reflected light 130 would pass directly into the optical imaging system, combining with the light 127 scattered from the substrate. Since this scattered light 130 is essentially “noise”, and contains no information about the substrate, combining light 130 with the upward-directed light 127 will undesirably reduce the signal to noise and contrast in the image.
Light 150 from sample 132 passes through partially-reflective minor 112, traveling parallel to axis 186 and, enters the optical imaging subsystem comprising: minor enclosure 152, NIR optical tube 166, NIR camera 168, VIS optical tube 178, and VIS camera 182. Partially-reflective minor 154 is typically configured to reflect a portion 158 of the NIR and VIS light 150 along axis 170, towards fully-reflective minor 172. Light 174 which was reflected off minor 172 passes along axis 176, through lens 180, and into the VIS camera 182. Another portion 156 of NIR and VIS light 150 passes through partially-reflective minor 154 along axis 162, then through (optional) diffuser 160, lens 164, and into the NIR camera 168. The degree of reflectivity of partially-reflecting minor 154 may be adjusted to compensate for the relative detection efficiencies of the NIR and VIS cameras, for example a reflection-to-transmission ratio of 80:20 may be employed for typical CCD detector array sensitivities for NIR and VIS light. Due to a number of factors such as the longer path length from partially-reflective minor 154 to the VIS camera, compared with the NIR camera, as well as other factors, it may be necessary to position the two cameras 168 and 182 at differing heights, as illustrated by arrow 190.
a) “Expendable”—these are features on the substrate which are not of functional significance. These features have a known location relative to the “Critical” features through the computer-aided design (CAD) patterning data.
b) “Critical”—charged particle beam processing is desired at the locations of “critical” features. Such processing might typically be focused ion beam (FIB) milling down through layers of the device structure (such as metal interconnects) for imaging of layer defects or for circuit editing, or deposition of an extra metal connection for circuit editing.
The in-vacuum optics has an axis 302 (corresponding to axis 186 in
Offset (features 310 to 315)=√[(X-offset 312)2+(Y-offset 314)2]>(radius 402),
where the X-offset 312 and Y-offset 314 are derived from the CAD patterning data of the substrate. Where there is more than one critical feature, it may be necessary to find an expendable feature 310 which meets this criterion for all critical features simultaneously.
After the optically-visible feature 502 has been created by CP-column 140, the substrate portion 308 is moved by precision stage 134 back to a location under the in-vacuum optics, as illustrated in
The substrate portion 308 is moved back under the in-vacuum optics in
The first method for calibrating the inter-column distance shown in
Three charged-particle processing steps then create three features 1306, 1302, and 1304, centered on the expendable CP-invisible features 1204, 1224, and 1234, respectively, as shown in FIG. 13—this step is comparable to that shown in
As illustrated in
NIR and VIS light 1420 reflecting off the surface of substrate 1405 at point 1412 contains no useful information about features within the device layer 1408, and thus represents an unwanted background signal which, in bright-field mode, is added to the desired signal 1422 arising from photons scattered out of the device layer 1408 at point 1414. Thus, bright-field imaging may have a reduced contrast and signal-to-noise due to the ability of reflected light off the substrate surface to enter lens 1404 of the in-vacuum optics.
Optical illumination subsystem 1602 employs dual light sources, one source 1604 optimized for NIR emission, and the other source 1648 optimized for VIS emission. Either of the two operating modes for the two sources which were discussed above is applicable to this embodiment—i.e., NIR source 1604 and VIS source 1648 may be configured to operate either simultaneously, or may be configured to be independently-controllable. Both sources 1604 and 1648 may typically be enclosed by reflectors (not shown) to maximize their respective light collection efficiencies. NIR light 1640 from NIR source 1604 passes along axis 1684, and a portion of light 1640 passes through partially-reflective minor 1642. VIS light 1646 from VIS source 1648 passes along axis 1644, and a portion of light 1646 is reflected off partially-reflective minor 1642. Both the NIR light which passes through mirror 1642, and the VIS light which is reflected off mirror 1642 pass along axis 1684, forming light beam 1610, which may pass through an (optional) diffuser 1606, and a collimating lens 1608. A portion of light beam 1610 reflects downwards off partially-reflective minor 1612, forming the downward portion of bi-directional light beam 1014, corresponding to bi-directional arrow 114 in
Light 1712 which passes through partially-reflective minor 1612 parallel to axis 1724 enters the optical imaging subsystem comprising a light tube 1702, collimating lens (which must transmit both NIR and VIS light) 1704, and a broad-spectrum camera 1708. To obtain NIR images, only NIR source 1604 would be turned on, and VIS source 1648 would be turned off, thus requiring the third configuration for the optical illumination subsystem which was discussed above. Conversely, to obtain VIS images, only VIS source 1648 would be turned on, and NIR source 1604 would be turned off. Clearly, if the two sources 1604 and 1648 are on at the same time, a composite (and probably undesirable) NIR+VIS image would be obtained. If both sources 1604 and 1648 can be turned on and off rapidly, then it will be possible to toggle between NIR and VIS imaging modes rapidly using this embodiment. The relative illumination intensities of the NIR source 1604 and the VIS source 1648 may be adjusted to compensate for sensitivity differences between NIR and VIS light in the detector array (not shown) of broad-spectrum camera 1708.
Light 1812 which passes through partially-reflective mirror 112 parallel to axis 1829 enters the optical imaging subsystem, passing through entrance lens 1804. The majority of the VIS light passes through the dichroic layer at point 1818 on the prism 1806, forming VIS light beam 1814 traveling along axis 1824 and into VIS light CCD array 1808. Note that due to refraction by prism 1806, axes 1829 and 1824 will not be parallel. The majority of the NIR light reflects off the dichroic layer at point 1818, forming specularly reflected beam 1816, which travels across the width of prism 1806. Beam 1816 then specularly reflects at point 1820, forming reflected beam 1822 which is approximately normally-incident on the side of prism 1806 nearest to NIR CCD array 1810. Thus, two simultaneous images may be acquired—each from one of the two CCD detector arrays operating in parallel within the multi-spectral camera.
As describes above, the various illumination and imaging systems described above can be combined. For example, a single broad-spectrum source and the dual-source, coupled operation illumination system can both be used with a dual camera having a beam splitter or with a single camera assembly having dual integrated detectors. The dual-source, independent operation illumination system can be used with a dual camera having a beam splitter or with a single camera assembly, either a broad spectrum camera or a camera having integrated dual detectors.
While embodiments above use near-infrared radiation, the invention is not limited to near-infrared, although skilled persons will recognize that as the wavelength increases, the resolution decreases and so a shorter wavelength is preferred.
Although the present invention and its advantages have been described in detail, it should be understood that various changes, substitutions and alterations can be made to the embodiments described herein without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention as defined by the appended claims. Moreover, the scope of the present application is not intended to be limited to the particular embodiments of the process, machine, manufacture, composition of matter, means, methods and steps described in the specification. As one of ordinary skill in the art will readily appreciate from the disclosure of the present invention, processes, machines, manufacture, compositions of matter, means, methods, or steps, presently existing or later to be developed that perform substantially the same function or achieve substantially the same result as the corresponding embodiments described herein may be utilized according to the present invention. Accordingly, the appended claims are intended to include within their scope such processes, machines, manufacture, compositions of matter, means, methods, or steps.