Multivariate endpoint detection of plasma etching processes
Author(s)Goodlin, Brian E., 1974-
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Chemical Engineering.
Herbert H. Swain and Duane S. Boning.
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In plasma etching process it is critical to know when the film being etched has cleared to the underlying film, i.e. to detect endpoint, in order to achieve the desired device performance in the resulting integrated circuit. The most highly utilized sensor technology for determining endpoint has historically been optical emission spectroscopy (OES), because it is both non-invasive and highly sensitive to chemical changes in the reactor. Historically, the intensity of one emission peak corresponding to a reactant or product in the etch process was tracked over time, leading to a single-wavelength endpoint trace. At endpoint, the concentrations of reactant and product species undergo a step change that is detectable in the optical emission endpoint trace for many plasma etching processes. Unfortunately, for several critical etching steps (contact and via), the exposed area of the film being etched is very low (<1%, with the rest being masked with photoresist),. and this traditional method of endpoint detection has failed because of the low signal-to-noise ratio at endpoint. Our work has provided a way to improve the endpoint detection sensitivity by a factor of approximately 5-6, so that endpoint can be adequately detected for these low open area etching steps. By utilizing CCD array detection for OES sensors, it is possible to rapidly collect (2-10 Hz) full spectral data (200-900 nm in wavelength), consisting of over 1000 discrete wavelength channels from a plasma etching process. By appropriately utilizing this multi-wavelength data, we have been able to achieve significant improvements in sensitivity. Our work has focused on characterizing, analyzing, and developing new multivariate (multi-wavelength) strategies to optimize the sensitivity of the endpoint detector.(cont.) This thesis provides a thorough comparison of several different multivariate techniques for improving endpoint detection sensitivity and robustness, both experimentally and theoretically. The techniques compared include: 1) multivariate statistical process control metrics such as Hotelling's T2; 2) chemometrics techniques such as principal component analysis (PCA) and T2 and Q statistics based on PCA, evolving window factor analysis (EWFA); 3) discriminant analysis; and 4) a new methodology called the Multi-wavelength statistic weighted by Signal-to-Noise ratio or MSN Statistic. A quantitative methodology based on signal-to-noise analysis was employed to compare the various techniques. Following this type of analysis, the MSN statistic was developed to theoretically provide the optimal improvement in endpoint detection sensitivity given certain assumptions about the nature of the noise in the data. Applying the MSN statistic to experimentally collected endpoint data confirmed that it did give superior results. By utilizing information about the direction (in the multivariate space) of endpoint from prior runs, the MSN statistic showed significant improvement over the traditional multivariate T2 statistic, that does not use any prior knowledge for detection. Another important aspect of the work was in characterizing the nature of multivariate noise, and understanding how different multivariate algorithms treat the different forms of multivariate noise. In general, we found that multivariate noise could be broadly classified into two components ...
Thesis (Ph.D.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Chemical Engineering, 2002.Includes bibliographical references.
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Chemical Engineering.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology