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Comparison of electrical CD measurements and cross-section lattice-plane counts of sub-micrometer features replicated in Silicon-on-Insulator materials

Headley, Thomas J.; Everist, Sarah C.; Everist, Sarah C.

Electrical test structures of the type known as cross-bridge resistors have been patterned in (100) epitaxial silicon material that was grown on Bonded and Etched-Back Silicon-on-Insulator (BESOI) substrates. The CDs (Critical Dimensions) of a selection of their reference segments have been measured electrically, by SEM (Scanning-Electron Microscopy) cross-section imaging, and by lattice-plane counting. The lattice-plane counting is performed on phase-contrast images made by High-Resolution Transmission-Electron Microscopy (HRTEM). The reference-segment features were aligned with <110> directions in the BESOI surface material. They were defined by a silicon micromachining process which results in their sidewalls being atomically-planar and smooth and inclined at 54.737{degree} to the surface (100) plane of the substrate. This (100) implementation may usefully complement the attributes of the previously-reported vertical-sidewall one for selected reference-material applications. The SEM, HRTEM, and electrical CD (ECD) linewidth measurements that are made on BESOI features of various drawn dimensions on the same substrate is being investigated to determine the feasibility of a CD traceability path that combines the low cost, robustness, and repeatability of the ECD technique and the absolute measurement of the HRTEM lattice-plane counting technique. Other novel aspects of the (100) SOI implementation that are reported here are the ECD test-structure architecture and the making of HRTEM lattice-plane counts from both cross-sectional, as well as top-down, imaging of the reference features. This paper describes the design details and the fabrication of the cross-bridge resistor test structure. The long-term goal is to develop a technique for the determination of the absolute dimensions of the trapezoidal cross-sections of the cross-bridge resistors reference segments, as a prelude to making them available for dimensional reference applications.