Recent developments in automated image acquisition and metrology using transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and scanning transmission electron microscopy (STEM) have significantly improved the speed, precision, and usability of these techniques for controlling advanced semiconductor device manufacturing processes. As device dimensions have continued to shrink, these techniques may be needed to replace scanning electron microscopy (SEM) for the smallest critical dimension (CD) measurements. This article describes the use of automated S/TEM in a high-throughput CD-metrology workflow to support process development and control and explains how automated sample-preparation, data-acquisition, and metrology tools increase both throughput and data quality.

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