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Proceedings Paper

Manufacturability study of masks created by inverse lithography technology (ILT)
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Paper Abstract

As photolithography is pushed to fabricate deep-sub wavelength devices for 90nm, 65nm and smaller technology nodes using available exposure tools (i.e., 248nm, 193nm steppers), photomask capability is becoming extremely critical. For example, PSM masks require more complicated processing; aggressive OPC makes the writing time longer and sometimes unpredictable; and, high MEEF imposes much more stringent demands on mask quality. Therefore, in order for any new lithography technology to be adopted into production, mask manufacturability must be studied thoroughly and carefully. In this paper we will present the mask manufacturability study on mask patterns created using Inverse Lithography Technology (ILT). Unlike conventional OPC methodologies, ILT uses a unique outcome-based technology to mathematically determine the mask features that produce the desired on-wafer results. ILT solves the most critical litho challenges of the deep sub-wavelength era. Potential benefits include: higher yield; expanded litho process windows; superb pattern fidelity at 90, 65 & 45-nm nodes; and reduced time-to-silicon - all without changing the existing lithography infrastructure and design-to-silicon flow. In this study a number of cell structures were selected and used as test patterns. "Luminized patterns" were generated for binary mask and attenuated phase-shift mask. Both conventional OPC patterns and "luminized patterns" were put on a test reticle side by side, and they all have a number of variations in term of correction aggressivity level and mask complexity. Mask manufacturability, including data fracturing, writing time, mask inspection, and metrology were studied. The results demonstrate that, by optimizing the inspection recipe, masks created using ILT technology can be made and qualified using current processes with a reasonable turn-around time.

Paper Details

Date Published: 8 November 2005
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 5992, 25th Annual BACUS Symposium on Photomask Technology, 599235 (8 November 2005); doi: 10.1117/12.633200
Show Author Affiliations
Patrick M. Martin, Photronics, Inc. (United States)
C. J. Progler, Photronics, Inc. (United States)
G. Xiao, Photronics, Inc. (United States)
R. Gray, Photronics, Inc. (United States)
L. Pang, Luminescent Technologies, Inc. (United States)
Y. Liu, Luminescent Technologies, Inc. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5992:
25th Annual BACUS Symposium on Photomask Technology
J. Tracy Weed; Patrick M. Martin, Editor(s)

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