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Proceedings Paper

Accuracy issues in the finite difference time domain simulation of photomask scattering
Author(s): Thomas V. Pistor
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Paper Abstract

As the use of electromagnetic simulation in lithography increases, accuracy issues are uncovered and must be addressed. A proper understanding of these issues can allow the lithographer to avoid pitfalls in electromagnetic simulation and to know what can and can not be accurately simulated. This paper addresses the important accuracy issues related to the simulation of photomask scattering using the Finite Difference Time Domain (FDTD) method. Errors related to discretization and periodic boundary conditions are discussed. Discretization-related issues arise when derivatives are replaced by finite differences and when integrals are replaced by summations. These approximations can lead to mask features that do not have exact dimensions. The effects of discretization error on phase wells and thin films are shown. The reflectivity of certain thin film layers is seen to be very sensitive to the layer thickness. Simulation experiments and theory are used to determine how fine a discretization is necessary and various discretization schemes that help minimize error are presented. Boundary-condition-related errors arise from the use of periodic boundary conditions when simulating isolated mask features. The effects of periodic boundary conditions are assessed through the use of simulation experiments. All errors are associated with an ever-present trade-off between accuracy and computational resources. However, choosing the cell size wisely can, in many cases, minimize error without significantly increasing computation resource requirements.

Paper Details

Date Published: 14 September 2001
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 4346, Optical Microlithography XIV, (14 September 2001); doi: 10.1117/12.435688
Show Author Affiliations
Thomas V. Pistor, Panoramic Technology (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 4346:
Optical Microlithography XIV
Christopher J. Progler, Editor(s)

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