This research opportunity centers on the development of novel optical methods for nanoscale dimensional measurements using the NIST 193 nm Microscope: a newly upgraded, custom-built, world-class high-magnification optical imaging platform optimized for this actinic, deep ultraviolet (DUV) wavelength. It has been built as the ultimate imaging testbed for the quantitative optical measurement of nanospheres and sub-20 nm wide patterned features. Our working group supports US Semiconductor Manufacturing in overcoming various qualitative and quantitative measurement challenges especially over large areas, as is needed for effective manufacturing process control of products that incorporate billions of nanoscale features.
Recent publications report our scatterfield microscopy techniques in which extensive electromagnetic modeling, instrument characterization, and data acquisition techniques are combined to extract nanoscale dimensional information well below conventional diffraction limits. These measurements are optimized by tailoring the illumination so as to yield dimensionally sensitive 3-D electromagnetic scattering from features of interest. Successful applicants would join in our ongoing efforts to extend these methods into practical applications in the DUV, as well as developing new alternative approaches for advancing nanoscale feature inspection and characterization using this unique optical instrument.
Qin J, et al: "Deep subwavelength nanometric image reconstruction using Fourier domain optical normalization." Light-Science and Applications 5: el 60389, 2016. http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/Isa.2016.38
Henn MA, et al: "Optimizing the nanoscale quantitative optical imaging of subfield scattering targets." Optics Letters 41(21): 4959-4962, 2016. http://dx.doi.org/10.1364/OL.41.004959
Barnes BM, et al: "Three-dimensional deep sub-wavelength defect detection using l=193 nm optical microscopy." Optics Express 21(22): 26219-26226, 2013. http://dx.doi.org/10.1364/Oe.21.026219
Optics; Semiconductors; Ultraviolet; Electromagnetic simulations; Lasers; Nanoscale; Computational microscopy; Dimensional metrology; Optical imaging;