The foundation and technical procedure of Nano-Pattern Recognition and Correlation Technique (N-PRCT) is described. The proposed technique is an in-plane displacement measurement technique that is based on regularly oriented structures. Displacement is obtained by tracking the movement of each single pattern in the images taken before and after loading (deformation) through techniques of pattern recognition and correlation. The proposed technique is insensitive to the noise involved in the digital images which comes inherently from the SEM imaging process; this results in high measurement accuracy. The technique provides the spatial resolution of less than 5 nm/pixel and displacement measurement accuracy of approximately 0.1 nm, which will be suited ideally for thermal deformation measurements of Low-K layer.

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