Solid State Technology and SEMI, today announced the recipient of the 2014 “Best of West” Award — Nikon Corporation — for its NSR-S630D Immersion Scanner. The award recognizes important product and technology developments in the microelectronics supply chain. The Best of West finalists were selected based on their financial impact on the industry, engineering or scientific achievement, and/or societal impact.
Nikon has clearly demonstrated leadership with ArF immersion tools, particularly in the area of 450mm. At SEMICON West, a collection of the first fully patterned 450mm wafers – using a Nikon immersion lithography tool — were on display at the newly merged SUNY CNSE/SUNYIT exhibit. The Nikon immersion scanner will join existing 450mm infrastructure at the Albany NanoTech Complex in April of 2015 in accordance with the project timeline. This critical milestone will enable G450C founding members and CNSE to perform 10nm and below, full wafer photolithography, while optimizing tool configuration and performance.
The Best of West award-winning NSR-S630D (300mm) ArF Immersion Scanner employs the well-known Streamlign platform, incorporating further developments in stage, optics, and autofocus technology to deliver unprecedented mix-and-match overlay and focus control with sustained stability to enable the 10/7nm node.
The semiconductor industry is moving to development and high volume manufacturing of sub-10nm generation process devices. Budgets are even tighter at these advanced nodes, making enhanced stability vital. The NSR-S630D leverages established immersion technology, while incorporating key innovations to deliver mix-and-match overlay (MMO) capabilities below 2.5 nm and throughput greater than 250 wafers per hour, in addition to critical overlay and focus with “optimal stability.”
The NSR-S630D builds upon the Streamlign platform, incorporating further technology, optics, and autofocus technology to deliver unprecedented performance with “sustained stability” to enable the 10/7nm node. Additionally, the S630D provides world-class throughput ≥ 250 WPH, and is compatible with advanced software solutions that ensure peak manufacturing performance. Significant technical, infrastructure, and business-related issues continue for EUVL, with unclear cost benefits. A 300mm process step and cost comparison for EUVL double patterning (DP) was 2x higher than ArF immersion multiple patterning, and EUV DP results were even less favorable under 450 mm conditions. From the overall cost perspective, new technologies are not always the best approach, and based on 10 years of success, it is believed that 193i immersion will remain the low cost solution moving forward.
The NSR-S630D utilizes newly designed optics that deliver multiple levels of active control, while Multipoint High Speed phase measurement interferometry enables adjustment of the lens at intervals to reduce aberrations. These enhanced tuning capabilities enable extremely low wavefront rms. Beyond imaging, overlay and focus control are the critical performance factors for the 10/7nm node.
Single nanometer distortion values have been achieved, which is a major factor in improving overlay/mix-and-match capabilities. In addition, the new NSR-S630D reticle stage uses an encoder servo system to increase accuracy while the wafer stage delivers improved temperature control, coupled with structural and water management innovations to enhance stability. The S630D has demonstrated single machine overlay (SMO) Avg.+3σ below 1.4nm across the lot, with across lot S622D/S630D mix-and-match overlay (MMO) below 2.5nm. Further, the S630D autofocus system employs a narrower sensor pitch and improved edge mapping for better focus uniformity, and minimizes sensor fluctuations and process sensitivities. Together these factors optimize yield and increase edge dies per wafer.
Autofocus performance was verified with uniformity data (3σ) below 7nm (including edge shots) and 5.9 nm for full field shots alone. Intrinsic CD uniformity results below 0.69 nm were also demonstrated for 41nm lines on a 90nm pitch.
At the most advanced nodes, tool stability and process robustness become increasingly critical. Additional calibrations help with this, but they must not compromise productivity. Therefore, long-term inherent tool stability and process robustness must be maintained. The S630D has demonstrated five lot SMO data below 1.7nm (Avg. + 3σ) across a ten-day period, and SMO performance (Avg. + 3σ) below 1.4nm across the lot for both hydrophobic and hydrophilic processes. Additionally, a two week focus stability range of only 5.3 nm max/min was achieved.
Nikon provides a number of “Masters” – automated software solutions that ensure the scanner is performing at its best. These include LNS (lens) Master, OPE Master, CDU Master, and OVL (overlay) Master. LNS Master enables reticle-specific thermal compensation on the scanner. OPE Master uses customer designs and scanner adjustments to provide illumination condition matching for aligning performance across a fleet of scanners and ensuring that one OPC solution works on all of them. CDU Master provides optimization capabilities that enable the scanner to correct for other process window detractors. Because overlay matching plays a central role in multiple patterning applications, OVL Master enables automated grid and distortion matching, as well as automated reticle expansion correction to maximize yield. The NSR-S630D works in tandem with the Masters software to deliver optimized scanner exposure parameters that enhance performance on product wafers. In addition to maximized yield and manufacturing flexibility, enhanced productivity is imperative in making these advanced multiple patterning processes cost effective for chipmakers, and the S630D delivers world-class throughput ≥ 250 wafers per hour (WPH).