Journal Article Adaptive Virtual Metrology Design for Semiconductor Dry Etching Process Through Locally Weighted Partial Least Squares

Hirai, Toshiya  ,  Kano, Manabu

28 ( 2 )  , pp.137 - 144 , 2015-05 , IEEE
In semiconductor manufacturing processes, virtual metrology (VM) has been investigated as a promising tool to predict important characteristics of products. Although partial least squares (PLS) is a well-known modeling technique that can cope with collinearity and therefore applied to construction of VM, its prediction performance deteriorates due to changes in process characteristics. In particular, maintenance of equipment strongly affects the process characteristics and the prediction performance. In this paper, VM was developed by using locally weighted PLS (LW-PLS), which is a type of just-in-time modeling technique, and it was used to predict the etching conversion differential of an actual dry etching process. The industrial application results have shown that the developed VM based on LW-PLS is superior to the conventional VM based on the sequential update model and artificial neural network model. In particular, it has been confirmed that the LW-PLS-based VM can keep its high prediction performance even after the maintenance, i.e., replacement of parts.

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