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24 March 2008 A novel methodology for model-based OPC verification
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Model-based optical proximity correction (OPC) is an indispensable production tool enabling successful extension of photolithography down to sub-80nm regime. Commercial OPC software has established clear procedures to produce accurate OPC models at best focus condition. However, OPC models calibrated at best focus condition sometimes fail to prevent catastrophic circuit failure due to patterning short & open caused by accidental shifts of dose/ focus within the corners of allowed processes window. A novel model-based OPC verification methodology is presented in this work, which precisely pinpoints post OPC photolithography failures in VLSI circuits through the entire lithographic process window. By application of a critical photolithography process window model in OPC verification software, we successfully uncovered all weak points of a design prior tape out, eliminating high risk of circuits open & shorts at the extreme corner of the lithographic process window in any complex circuit layout environment. The process window-related information is usually not taken into consideration when running OPC verification procedures with models calibrated at nominal process condition. Intensive review of the critical dimension (CD) and top-view SEM micrographs from the weak points indicate matching between post OPC simulation and measurements. Using a single highly accurate process window resist model provides a reliable OPC verification methodology when used in a field- or grid-based simulation engine ensuring manufacturability within the largest possible process window for any modern critical design.
© (2008) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Tengyen Huang, ChunCheng Liao, Ryan Chou, Hung-Yueh Liao, and Jochen Schacht "A novel methodology for model-based OPC verification", Proc. SPIE 6922, Metrology, Inspection, and Process Control for Microlithography XXII, 69222F (24 March 2008);

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