Journal article

Surface reconstruction from microscopic images in optical lithography

We propose a shape-from-shading method to reconstruct surfaces of silicon wafers from images of printed circuits taken with scanning electron microscope. Our method combines the physical model of the optical acquisition system with prior knowledge about the shapes of the patterns in the circuit. The reconstruction of the surface is formulated as an optimization problem with a combined criterion based on the irradiance equation and a shape prior that constrains the shape of the surface to agree with the expected shape of the pattern. To account for the variability of the manufacturing process, the model allows a non-linear elastic deformation between the expected patterns and the reconstructed surface. Our method provides two outputs: a reconstructed surface and a deformation field. The reconstructed surface is derived from the shading observed in the images and the prior knowledge about circuit patterns, which results in a shape-from-shading technique stable and robust to noise. The deformation field produces a mapping between the expected shape and the reconstructed surface, which provides a measure of deviation between the models and the real manufacturing process.

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