Patent for License:Method and Apparatus for Inspection of Patterned Semiconductor Wafers
SUMMARY OF THE TECHNOLOGY
The technology provides for a method and apparatus for inspecting HAR contact holes and vias.
The method of the technology is also advantageously applicable to the detection of non-conductive or conductive foreign matter at any location on the wafer.
It is a purpose of the technology to provide a method and an apparatus that are quickly operable and provide high throughput.
It is another purpose to provide a method and an apparatus that are compatible, and even combinable, with optical inspection methods.
The solution, provided by the technology, to the problem of the detection of the total or partial obstruction of contact holes by non-conductive matter, is based on the idea of material classification rather than conventional imaging or scattered light detection. Basically, therefore, the method of the technology comprises the step of verifying the type of material at any location on the wafer, and particularly at the bottom of the vias or contacts. This same method can also be advantageously used to detect other defects, such as metal residue defects.
U.S. Patent Classes & Classifications Covered in this Patent:
Class 382: Image AnalysisThis is the generic class for apparatus and corresponding methods for the automated analysis of an image or recognition of a pattern. Included herein are systems that transform an image for the purpose of (a) enhancing its visual quality prior to recognition, (b) locating and registering the image relative to a sensor or stored prototype, or reducing the amount of image data by discarding irrelevant data, and (c) measuring significant characteristics of the image.
Subclass 145: Inspection of semiconductor device or printed circuit board
Subclass 147: Inspecting printed circuit boards
Subclass 149: Fault or defect detection
Class 250: Radiant EnergyThis class provides for all methods and apparatus for using, generating, controlling or detecting radiant energy, combinations including such methods or apparatus, subcombinations of same and accessories therefore not classifiable elsewhere.
Subclass 224: Article and light ray relatively moved during sensing
Subclass 574: Scattered or reflected light
Subclass 305: ELECTRON ENERGY ANALYSIS
Subclass 306: INSPECTION OF SOLIDS OR LIQUIDS BY CHARGED PARTICLES
Subclass 310: Electron probe type
Subclass 559.45: With defect discrimination circuitry
Subclass 397: With detector
Class 257: Active Solid-State Devices (E.G., Transistors, Solid-State Diodes)This class provides for active solid-state electronic devices, that is, electronic devices or components that are made up primarily of solid materials, usually semiconductors, which operate by the movement of charge carriers - electrons or holes - which undergo energy level changes within the material and can modify an input voltage to achieve rectification, amplification, or switching action, and are not classified elsewhere.
Subclass E21.53: For structural parameters, e.g., thickness, line width, refractive index, temperature, warp, bond strength, defects, optical inspection, electrical measurement of structural dimensions, metallurgic measurement of diffusions (EPO)