Recurrent feature-incorporated convolutional neural network for virtual metrology of the chemical mechanical planarization process

Ki Bum Lee, Chang Ouk Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)


In semiconductor manufacturing, the chemical mechanical planarization (CMP) process produces higher thickness variability in the edge area of the wafer than that in the center area due to the characteristics of the polishing operation. To address this problem, advanced CMP equipment includes a function that controls the removal rate of each area. However, to take full advantage of this capability, effective advanced process control systems must be implemented with a virtual metrology (VM) model. However, the prediction performance of the VM model often deteriorates due to process drift. Here, we present a deep learning-based VM model that demonstrates high performance in the presence of nonlinear process drift. The proposed model combines a recurrent neural network and a convolutional neural network to extract time-dependent and time-independent features. A two-stage model training method is proposed that alternately updates the weights of each network to improve prediction performance. In the experiments using on-site CMP process data, the performance of the deep learning models exceeded that of standard machine learning models. The proposed model showed an 8.48% decrease in process variability relative to the best-performing machine learning model, which was elastic nets.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)73-86
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Intelligent Manufacturing
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Jan 1

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by a National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) Grant funded by the Ministry of Science and ICT (NRF-2016R1A2B4008337) and an NRF Grant funded by the Korean Government (NRF-2015H1A2A1031081-Global Ph.D. Fellowship Program).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018, Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Software
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering
  • Artificial Intelligence


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