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Photomask quality assessment strategy at 90-nm technology node with aerial image simulation
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Paper Abstract

As 90 nm devices enter into the pre-production phase, the quality assurance strategy of photomasks for those devices must be well established with the proper cost and turn-around-time in mind. Such devices will be manufactured with a state-of-the-art photolithography systems equipped with 193nm actinic light sources. Photomasks for these devices are being produced with the most advanced equipment, material and processing technologies and yet, quality assurance still remains an issue for volume production. These issues include defect classification and disposition due to the insufficient resolution of the defect inspection system, uncertainty of the impact the defects have on the printed feature as well as inconsistencies of classical defect specifications as applied in the sub-wavelength era. To overcome these issues, the authors propose a new strategy to assess photomask quality by checking the CD variation on wafer (defect printability) using aerial image simulation. This method of simulation-based mask qualification uses aerial image defect simulation in combination with a high resolution optical review system with shorter review wavelength (248nm) and smaller pixel size (22.5nm)- combining the defect inspection system with a longer inspection wavelength (365nm) and larger pixel size (150nm). This paper discusses a new strategy on mask quality assurance with several experimental results that proves the applicability for enabling 90nm technology nodes. Combining high-resolution optical images captured by DUV measurement tool with Virtual Stepper System has achieved better accuracy for 0.72um contact holes on ArF Att.PSM. However, we need further investigation for precise prediction of CD variation caused by defects on 0.4um line/space patterns on ArF Att.PSM. This paper also discusses future work to make the strategy production-worthy.

Paper Details

Date Published: 28 August 2003
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 5130, Photomask and Next-Generation Lithography Mask Technology X, (28 August 2003); doi: 10.1117/12.504209
Show Author Affiliations
Yoshikazu Nagamura, Mitsubishi Electric Corp. (Japan)
Kunihiro Hosono, Mitsubishi Electric Corp. (Japan)
Linyong Pang, Synopsys, Inc. (Japan)
Kevin K. Chan, Synopsys, Inc. (Japan)
Yoshio Tanaka, Synopsys, Inc. (Japan)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5130:
Photomask and Next-Generation Lithography Mask Technology X
Hiroyoshi Tanabe, Editor(s)

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