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23 March 2011 Feasibility study on the mask compensation of gate CD non-uniformity caused by etching process
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It's well known that geometrical features of the chip layout influence the change in critical dimension during etch in macroscopic and microscopic ways but how well those impact could be measured and compensated are still of concern. In this paper, the former factor is trying to be translated in terms of local pattern density measured in a critical radius and the latter one is in terms of distance to the nearest feature. The magnitude of each contribution has been measured for gate process at 180 nm technology node. Increase in local pattern density accompanying the slow etch rate within a certain critical radius results in more than 5 nm CD drop. An attempt to acquire more comprehensive data related to the local pattern density has been made and the chip-scale compensation rule for the real application has been proposed accordingly. Meanwhile, the rising trend of post-etch CD with the increase in distance to the nearest feature is maintained until the distance reaches 12 μm, which is much larger than the optical distance recommended in the photolithography-based OPC setup. The final post-etch CD variation caused by this short-ranged geometrical influence is huge reaching 30 nm so that another challenge should be taken into consideration as the full compensation of the difference will ask you to sacrifice the lithographic process margin.
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Wan Ho Kim, Ek Jen Yet, Siew Ing Yet, and Boon Chun Lee "Feasibility study on the mask compensation of gate CD non-uniformity caused by etching process", Proc. SPIE 7973, Optical Microlithography XXIV, 797331 (23 March 2011);

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