Optical Simulation and Image Analysis Suite (Semiconductor Manufacturing)
SBIR 2004 Topic 9.12: Optics and Optical Technology
Department of Commerce (DOC)
National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)
Solicitation Closing Date: January 30, 2004 at 3:00 PM EST

The entire solicitation may be viewed at http://www.nist.gov/sbir

9.12.03 Subtopic: Optical Simulation and Image Analysis Suite (Semiconductor Manufacturing)

The central deliverables for this proposed solicitation is the development of a software suite for the 3 dimensional analysis of features measured with advanced optical techniques. The software package is to allow optical component and illumination wavefront analysis as well as image analysis. It is central to the package to enable 3 dimensional manipulation and analysis of the images as well as rendering and image enhancement. In addition, advanced metrology and edge (profile) analysis as defined in the following context.

We are interested in developing a simulation code for optical metrology and image analysis. This is to enable a full electromagnetic scattering simulations of semiconductor type features as well as features which will be encountered in nanotechnology and high resolution optics. We have begun to develop an advanced methodology for high resolution optical microscopy of features well below the optical wavelength. Accurate modeling of these features is essential to accessing the information contained within the intensity profiles. In addition to modeling the features correctly, image analysis in 3 dimensions is a critical aspect of the analysis. The software needs to be able to manipulate, filter and perform edge detection in sophisticated ways. That is, simple edge thresholds are no longer adequate and more sophisticated full profile analysis is required to determine feature size, geometry and position.

Likewise, the model must be capable of allowing a variation of the optical parameters and complex illumination wavefront engineering. The model should provide the basis to test key alignment and engineering aspects of the illuminating wavefront in such a way as to enable design and testing of the optimum optical configuration which provides a discernable scattered electromagnetic field which can in turn be fully analyzed to extract feature information such as size and geometry. Key elements of the optical setup need to be tested and optimized. Key materials parameters should be inputs to the software code to enable accurate modeling of the features of interest. Current available optical simulation code generally allows optical system design and test but only with ray type optics and not complete proper electromagnetic scattering and wavefront analysis.

Expectation for the first phase is a demonstration of the key components with a final product delivered at the end of phase 2. The basic physics and key equations which represent the physical situation should be written up and explained at a moderate level. Deliverables include a working algorithm as executable code. Though access to NIST capabilities should not be necessary, it may occur as deemed useful by NIST.

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SBIR Program
100 Bureau Drive, Stop 2200
Gaithersburg, MD

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The official link for this solicitation is:   http://www.nist.gov/sbir.

Solicitation Closing Date: January 30, 2004 at 3:00 PM EST .