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13 March 2012 Demonstration of an effective flexible mask optimization (FMO) flow
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The 2x nm generation of advanced designs presents a major lithography challenge to achieve adequate correction due to the very low k1 values. The burden thus falls on resolution enhancement techniques (RET) in order to be able to achieve enough image contrast, with much of this falling to computational lithography. Advanced mask correction techniques can be computationally expensive. This paper presents a methodology that enables advanced mask quality with the cost of much simpler methods. Brion Technologies has developed a product called Flexible Mask Optimization (FMO) which identifies hotspots, applies an advanced technique to improve them, performs model based boundary healing to reinsert the repaired hotspot cleanly (without introducing new hotspots), and then performs a final verification. STMicroelectronics has partnered with Brion to evaluate and prove out the capability and performance of this approach. The results shown demonstrate improved performance on 2x nm node complex 2D hole layers using a hybrid approach of rule based sub resolution assist features (RB-SRAF) and model based SRAF (MB-SRAF). The effective outcome is to achieve MB-SRAF levels of quality but at only a slightly higher computational cost than a quick, cheap rule based approach.
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Charlotte Beylier, Nicolas Martin, Vincent Farys, Franck Foussadier, Emek Yesilada, Frederic Robert, Stanislas Baron, Russell Dover, and Hua-yu Liu "Demonstration of an effective flexible mask optimization (FMO) flow", Proc. SPIE 8326, Optical Microlithography XXV, 832616 (13 March 2012);

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