Angle resolved Mueller Polarimetry and applications to periodic structures

Abstract : With the constant decrease of the size of the transistors in microelectronics, the characterization tools have to be more and more accurate and have to provide higher and higher throughput. Semiconductor manufacturing being a layer-by-layer process, the fine positioning of the stack is crucial. The misalignment of the stack is called overlay and we here propose a new tool and method to accurately characterize overlay by measuring a single target built in the scribe lines. The method uses the fundamental symmetry properties of the Mueller matrix acquired in the back focal plane of a high-aperture microscope objective and enables a characterization of the overlay with a total measurement uncertainty of 2nm. After a brief introduction to polarization and the Mueller matrix, we describe the new design of the instrument and its complete calibration. The main body of this manuscript is dedicated to the overlay characterization but the applications of this instrument are very diverse so we also detail how our instrument can shed some light on the characterization and the understanding of the auto-organization of some scarab beetles' exoskeleton. These beetles exhibit a very strong circular dichroism and many research groups around the world try to mimic their exoskeleton. We conclude this manuscript with a brief overview of the main perspectives from our instrument.
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Clément Fallet. Angle resolved Mueller Polarimetry and applications to periodic structures. Optics [physics.optics]. Ecole Polytechnique X, 2011. English. ⟨NNT : 2011EPXX0055⟩. ⟨pastel-00651738v2⟩

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