Variations in programmed phase defect size and its impact on defect detection signal intensity using at-wavelength inspection system
A programmed phase defect Extreme Ultraviolet (EUV) mask was fabricated and measurement repeatability of the defect size using a scanning probe microscope (SPM) was evaluated. The SPM measurement results indicated that the defect size variation as registered by the measurement repeatability were much smaller than the defect-to-defect variations. It means the defect-to-defect variation in size actually does exist. Some defects were found where their sizes before a multilayer coating (on quartz) were all the same but after the coat their sizes varied quite significantly when observed on the multilayer. This result indicated that it is difficult to estimate the phase defect size on quartz, whereas they can be accurately measured on multilayer. Influences of the defect size variation on defect detection signal intensity (DSI) using an actinic blank inspection (ABI) system were examined; their influences on the wafer printability were also examined. The DSI was strongly correlated with defect depth on the multilayer, and it was also indicated that the ABI can detect small variations in defect sizes. It was also confirmed that the impact of the phase defects on wafer printed CDs were proportional to the DSIs, and that the ABI has a potential to detect phase defect that could cause 5 % of the CD error when printing 16 nm dense lines.