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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Picometer sensitivity metrology for EUV absorber phase


With growing interest in EUV attenuated phase-shift masks due to their superior image quality for applications such as dense contact and pillar arrays, it is becoming critical to model, measure, and monitor the intensity and relative phase of multilayer and absorber reflections. We present a solution based on physical modeling of reflectometry data, which can achieve single picometer phase precision and sensitivity to changes in average film thickness below one atomic monolayer. We measure absorber and multilayer reflectivity to determine thin-film parameters with a multidimensional optimization and then acquire a new measurement of either multilayer or absorber to determine perturbations in surface contamination thickness. While it is difficult to assess the accuracy of the first step, the simplicity of the second step allows us to characterize our sensitivity to changes in contamination thickness. We apply this analysis using an initial set of measurements and repeated measurements after a period of storage. For the multilayer, the total contamination growth was 1068 pm, which occurred almost exclusively during storage (1085 pm) and decreased very slightly during repeated measurements (-17 pm). For the absorber, the behavior was quite different, with a total growth of 126 pm, which occurred much less during storage (28 pm) and primarily during repeated measurements (98 pm). Ultimately, the change in relative phase (absorber minus multilayer) was -0.86 deg for the multilayer and -1.12 deg for the absorber. We estimate the precision of the surface contamination measurement to be 3σ < 6 pm for measuring thickness and 3σ < 0.2 deg for measuring phase.

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