Adaptive optics wavefront compensation for solid immersion microscopy in backside imaging
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This dissertation concerns advances in high-resolution optical microscopy needed to detect faults in next generation semiconductor chips. In this application, images are made through the chips' back side to avoid opaque interconnect metal layers on the frontside. Near infrared wavelengths are required, since the silicon is relatively transparent at these wavelengths. A significant challenge in this technique is to resolve features as small as 200nm using wavelengths exceeding 1OOOnm. The highest imaging resolution achievable with refractive optics at infrared wavelengths is demonstrated in this dissertation using an aplanatic solid immersion lens (SIL). This is the only method that has been found to be of sufficient resolution to image the next generation of integrated circuits. While the use of an aplanatic solid immersion lens theoretically allows numerical aperture far in excess of conventional microscopy (NASIL ~ 3.5), it also makes the system performance particularly sensitive to aberrations, especially when the samples have thicknesses that are more than a few micrometers thicker or thinner than designed thickness, or when the refractive index of the SIL is slightly different than that of the sample. In the work described here, practical design considerations of the SILs are examined. A SIL-based confocal scanning microscope system is designed and constructed. The aberrations of the system due to thickness uncertainty and material mismatch are simulated using both analytical model and ray-tracing software, and are measured in the SIL experimental apparatus. The dominant aberration for samples with thickness mismatch is found to be spherical aberration. Wavefront errors are compensated by a microelectromechanical systems deformable mirror (MEMS DM) in the optical system's pupil. The controller is implemented either with closed-loop real time sensor feedback or with predictive open-loop estimation of optical aberrations. Different DM control algorithms and aberration compensation techniques are studied and compared. The experimental results agree well with simulation and it has been demonstrated through models and experiments in this work that the stringent sample thickness tolerances previously needed for high numerical aperture SIL microcopy can be relaxed considerably through aberration compensation. Near-diffraction-limited imaging performance has been achieved in most cases that correspond to practical implementation of the technique.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--Boston University