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Proceedings Paper

Mask error enhancement factor
Author(s): Wilhelm Maurer
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Paper Abstract

Optical lithography at the limit of resolution is a highly non-linear pattern transfer process. One consequence of this is an apparent magnification of mask errors. The paper first demonstrates early experimental evidence of this effect. Then it assesses the influence of pattern geometry, of the lithography tool setup, and of different optical enhancement techniques on the MEEF using primarily simulation data. The correspondence of MEEF as an effect of mask linewidth variations to the increased printability of mask defects is illustrated. Strategies to minimize the MEEF--like alternating phase shift masks--are presented. Because the MEEF describes conveniently the concerted action of all components on the whole lithographic pattern transfer process, it is proposed to use the MEEF as a new yardstick to characterize the degree of difficulty of a given lithographic process.

Paper Details

Date Published: 3 February 2000
PDF: 6 pages
Proc. SPIE 3996, 16th European Conference on Mask Technology for Integrated Circuits and Microcomponents, (3 February 2000); doi: 10.1117/12.377094
Show Author Affiliations
Wilhelm Maurer, Infineon Technologies AG (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 3996:
16th European Conference on Mask Technology for Integrated Circuits and Microcomponents
Uwe F. W. Behringer, Editor(s)

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