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Proceedings Paper

Matching OPC and masks on 300-mm lithography tools utilizing variable illumination settings
Author(s): Katrin Palitzsch; Michael Kubis; Uwe Paul Schroeder; Karl Schumacher; Andreas Frangen
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Paper Abstract

CD control is crucial to maximize product yields on 300mm wafers. This is particularly true for DRAM frontend lithography layers, like gate level, and deep trench (capacitor) level. In the DRAM process, large areas of the chip are taken up by array structures, which are difficult to structure due to aggressive pitch requirements. Consequently, the lithography process is centered such that the array structures are printed on target. Optical proximity correction is applied to print gate level structures in the periphery circuitry on target. Only slight differences of the different Zernike terms can cause rather large variations of the proximity curves, resulting in a difference of isolated and semi-isolated lines printed on different tools. If the deviations are too large, tool specific OPC is needed. The same is true for deep trench level, where the length to width ratio of elongated contact-like structures is an important parameter to adjust the electrical properties of the chip. Again, masks with specific biases for tools with different Zernikes are needed to optimize product yield. Additionally, mask making contributes to the CD variation of the process. Theoretically, the CD deviation caused by an off-centered mask process can easily eat up the majority of the CD budget of a lithography process. In practice, masks are very often distributed intelligently among production tools, such that lens and mask effects cancel each other. However, only dose adjusting and mask allocation may still result in a high CD variation with large systematical contributions. By adjusting the illumination settings, we have successfully implemented a method to reduce CD variation on our advanced processes. Especially inner and outer sigma for annular illumination, and the numerical aperture, can be optimized to match mask and stepper properties. This process will be shown to overcome slight lens and mask differences effectively. The effects on lithography process windows have to be considered, nonetheless.

Paper Details

Date Published: 28 May 2004
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 5377, Optical Microlithography XVII, (28 May 2004); doi: 10.1117/12.532328
Show Author Affiliations
Katrin Palitzsch, Infineon Technologies AG (Germany)
Michael Kubis, Infineon Technologies AG (Germany)
Uwe Paul Schroeder, Infineon Technologies AG (Germany)
Karl Schumacher, Infineon Technologies AG (Germany)
Andreas Frangen, Infineon Technologies AG (Germany)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5377:
Optical Microlithography XVII
Bruce W. Smith, Editor(s)

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