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31 March 2014 Process window enhancement using advanced RET techniques for 20nm contact layer
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At the 20nm technology node, it is challenging for simple resolution enhancements techniques (RET) to achieve sufficient process margin due to significant coupling effects for dense features. Advanced computational lithography techniques including Source Mask Optimization (SMO), thick mask modeling (M3D), Model Based Sub Resolution Assist Features (MB-SRAF) and Process Window Solver (PW Solver) methods are now required in the mask correction processes to achieve optimal lithographic goals. An OPC solution must not only converge to a nominal condition with high fidelity, but also provide this fidelity over an acceptable process window condition. The solution must also be sufficiently robust to account for potential scanner or OPC model tuning. In many cases, it is observed that with even a small change in OPC parameters, the mask correction could have a big change, therefore making OPC optimization quite challenging. On top of this, different patterns may have significantly different optimum source maps and different optimum OPC solution paths. Consequently, the need for finding a globally optimal OPC solution becomes important. In this work, we introduce a holistic solution including source and mask optimization (SMO), MB-SRAF, conventional OPC and Co-Optimization OPC, in which each technique plays a unique role in process window enhancement: SMO optimizes the source to find the best source solution for all critical patterns; Co-Optimization provides the optimized location and size of scattering bars and guides the optimized OPC solution; MB-SRAF and MB-OPC then utilizes all information from advanced solvers and performs a globally optimized production solution.
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Yang Ping, Sarah McGowan, Ying Gong, Yee Mei Foong, Jian Liu, Jianhong Qiu, Vincent Shu, Bo Yan, Jun Ye, Pengcheng Li, Hui Zhou, Taksh Pandey, Jiao Liang, Chris Aquino, Stanislas Baron, and Sanjay Kapasi "Process window enhancement using advanced RET techniques for 20nm contact layer", Proc. SPIE 9052, Optical Microlithography XXVII, 90521N (31 March 2014);

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