In times of continuing aggressive shrinking of chip layouts a thorough understanding of the pattern transfer process from layout to silicon is indispensable. We analyzed the most prominent effects limiting the control of this process for a contact layer like process, printing 140nm features of variable length and different proximity using 248nm lithography. Deviations of the photo mask from the ideal layout, in particular mask off-target and corner rounding have been identified as clearly contributing to the printing behavior. In the next step, these deviations from ideal behavior have been incorporated into the optical proximity correction (OPC) modeling process. The degree of accuracy for describing experimental data by simulation, using an OPC model modified in that manner could be increased significantly. Further improvement in modeling the optical imaging process could be accomplished by taking into account lens aberrations of the exposure tool. This suggests a high potential to improve OPC by considering the effects mentioned, delivering a significant contribution to extending the application of OPC techniques beyond current limits.
Phase shifting mask technology will be necessary to product integrated circuits at the 130 nm node using KrF wavelength steppers. In order to successfully accomplish this goal, it is necessary to detect and repair phase shifting defects that may occur in the manufacture of these reticles. An inspection algorithm has been developed to improve the phase shift defect detection rate of an UV reticle inspection system and is based upon the simultaneous use of the transmitted and reflected light signals. This paper describes the phase defect sensitivity improvement over transmitted light only pattern inspection results and simultaneous transmitted and reflected light based contamination inspection results.
This paper will start with an overview of the different defect types which can occur on alternating phase shifting masks. A test mask with programmed defects of these different types was fabricated. The defect printability was investigated using an AIMS system. These results were correlated to first printing results in the wafer-fab. The results give an overview of the requirements for an inspection and repair system for alternating phase shifting masks. In order to get a better understanding of this printability behavior first simulations of defects using a 3D mask simulation tool were carried out and compared to the measurements. Several examples of quartz-repairs with different qualities are presented together with the influence on the aerial image.