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5 November 2005 Double exposure technique for 45nm node and beyond
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The technical challenges in using F2 lithography for the 45nm node, along with the insurmountable difficulties in EUV lithography, has driven the semiconductor chipmaker into the low k1 lithography era under the pressure of ever decreasing feature sizes. Extending lithography towards lower k1 puts heavy demand on the resolution enhancement technique (RET), exposure tool, and the need for litho friendly design. Hyper numerical aperture (NA) exposure tools, immersion, and double exposure techniques (DET's) are the promising methods to extend lithography manufacturing to the 45nm node at k1 factors below 0.3. Scattering bars (SB's) have become an integral part of the lithography process as chipmakers move to production at ever lower k1 factors. To achieve better critical dimension (CD) control, polarization is applied to enhance the image contrast in the preferential imaging orientation, which increases the risk of SB printability. The optimum SB width is approximately (0.20 ~ 0.25)*(λ/NA). When the SB width becomes less than the exposure wavelength on the 4X mask, Kirchhoff's scalar theory under predicts the SB intensity. The optical weighting factor of the SB increases (Figure 1b) and the SB's become more susceptible to printing. Meanwhile, under hyper NA conditions, the effectiveness of "subresolution" SB's is significantly diminished. A full-sized scattering bars (FSB) scheme becomes necessary. Double exposure methods, such as using ternary 6% attenuated PSM (attPSM) for DDL, are good imaging solutions that can reach and likely go beyond the 45nm node. Today DDL, using binary chrome masks, is capable of printing 65 nm device patterns. In this work, we investigate the use of DET with 6% attPSM masks to target 45nm node device. The SB scalability and printability issues can be taken cared of by using "mutual trimming", i.e., with the combined energy from the two exposures. In this study, we share our findings of using DET to pattern a 45nm node device design with polarization and immersion. We also explore other double patterning methods which in addition to having two exposures, incorporates double coat/developing/etch processing to break the 0.25 k1 barrier.
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Stephen Hsu, Jungchul Park, Douglas Van Den Broeke, and J. Fung Chen "Double exposure technique for 45nm node and beyond", Proc. SPIE 5992, 25th Annual BACUS Symposium on Photomask Technology, 59921Q (5 November 2005);

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