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8 October 2014 Model-based virtual VSB mask writer verification for efficient mask error checking and optimization prior to MDP
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A methodology is described wherein a calibrated model-based ‘Virtual’ Variable Shaped Beam (VSB) mask writer process simulator is used to accurately verify complex Optical Proximity Correction (OPC) and Inverse Lithography Technology (ILT) mask designs prior to Mask Data Preparation (MDP) and mask fabrication. This type of verification addresses physical effects which occur in mask writing that may impact lithographic printing fidelity and variability. The work described here is motivated by requirements for extreme accuracy and control of variations for today’s most demanding IC products. These extreme demands necessitate careful and detailed analysis of all potential sources of uncompensated error or variation and extreme control of these at each stage of the integrated OPC/ MDP/ Mask/ silicon lithography flow. The important potential sources of variation we focus on here originate on the basis of VSB mask writer physics and other errors inherent in the mask writing process. The deposited electron beam dose distribution may be examined in a manner similar to optical lithography aerial image analysis and image edge log-slope analysis. This approach enables one to catch, grade, and mitigate problems early and thus reduce the likelihood for costly long-loop iterations between OPC, MDP, and wafer fabrication flows. It moreover describes how to detect regions of a layout or mask where hotspots may occur or where the robustness to intrinsic variations may be improved by modification to the OPC, choice of mask technology, or by judicious design of VSB shots and dose assignment.
© (2014) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Robert C. Pack, Keith Standiford, Todd Lukanc, Guo Xiang Ning, Piyush Verma, Fadi Batarseh, Gek Soon Chua, Akira Fujimura, and Linyong Pang "Model-based virtual VSB mask writer verification for efficient mask error checking and optimization prior to MDP", Proc. SPIE 9235, Photomask Technology 2014, 923509 (8 October 2014);


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