Simulating semiconductor structures for next-generation optical inspection technologies

Ori Golani*, Ido Dolev, James Pond, Jens Niegemann

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We present a technique for optimizing advanced optical imaging methods for nanoscale structures, such as those encountered in the inspection of cutting-edge semiconductor devices. The optimization flow is divided to two parts: simulating light-structure interaction using the finite-difference time-domain (FDTD) method and simulating the optical imaging system by means of its optical transfer function. As a case study, FDTD is used to simulate 10-nm silicon line-space and static random-access memory patterns, with irregular structural protrusions and silicon-oxide particles as defects of interest. An ultraviolet scanning-spot optical microscope is used to detect these defects, and the optimization flow is used to find the optimal imaging mode for detection.

Original languageEnglish
Article number025102
JournalOptical Engineering
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Feb 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • finite-difference time-domain
  • mask inspection
  • optical wafer inspection


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