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Proceedings Paper

Resolution enhancement with high-transmission attenuating phase-shift masks
Author(s): Robert John Socha; Will Conley; Xuelong Shi; Mircea V. Dusa; John S. Petersen; J. Fung Chen; Kurt E. Wampler; Thomas L. Laidig; Roger F. Caldwell
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Paper Abstract

Experiments to print 140 nm lines and 140 nm contact holes were optimized through simulation on an 18% transmitting phase shift mask for KrF lithography. A transmittance of 18% is to improve aerial image log slope through focus for the lines and contacts. The 140 nm lines for all three pitches have a maximum depth of focus of at least 0.90 micrometer. The exposure latitude of the 140 nm lines is over 7.5% for all pitches to maintain 0.6 micrometer depth of focus. Experiments show that the 140 nm and 160 nm contact holes resolve without side lobe printing through focus and through exposure. Reticle SEMs verify that a ternary contact hole mask is capable of manufacture. By adding both opaque and clear sub-resolution assist features, the experiments show contacts as small as 140 nm resolve with 0.50 micrometer focus latitude with 10% exposure latitude through pitch. Cross sectional SEMs verify that 140 nm contact holes are open through pitch. Simulations to quantify the MEF show that the MEF for attenuating PSM decreases as the transmittance of the attenuating material increases. The MEF for a 30% transmitting attenuating material is 1.90 for a 150 nm feature and the MEF for an alternating PSM is 1.42 for the same 150 nm feature. Trends in aerial image CD variation due to aberrations were simulated for focal plane deviation, x coma, astigmatism and spherical aberrations. The simulations of alternating PSM imaged with (sigma) of 0.35 suggest that alternating PSM have the least CD variation due to focal plane deviation, astigmatism, and coma for dense pitches. The CD variation due to coma is comparable to 33% transmittance attenuating PSM for isolated lines. Furthermore alternating PSM is more susceptible for CD placement error due to coma compared to attenuating PSM. The 33% transmittance attenuating PSM has the least CD variation due to spherical aberration in comparison to BIM and alternating PSM.

Paper Details

Date Published: 25 August 1999
PDF: 25 pages
Proc. SPIE 3748, Photomask and X-Ray Mask Technology VI, (25 August 1999); doi: 10.1117/12.360236
Show Author Affiliations
Robert John Socha, National Semiconductor Corp. (United States)
Will Conley, National Semiconductor Corp. (United States)
Xuelong Shi, National Semiconductor Corp. (United States)
Mircea V. Dusa, National Semiconductor Corp. (United States)
John S. Petersen, Petersen Advanced Lithography (United States)
J. Fung Chen, MicroUnity Systems Engineering, Inc. (United States)
Kurt E. Wampler, MicroUnity Systems Engineering, Inc. (United States)
Thomas L. Laidig, MicroUnity Systems Engineering, Inc. (United States)
Roger F. Caldwell, MicroUnity Systems Engineering, Inc. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 3748:
Photomask and X-Ray Mask Technology VI
Hiroaki Morimoto, Editor(s)

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