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Proceedings Paper

Model-based placement and optimization of subresolution assist features
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Paper Abstract

Sub-resolution assist features (SRAFs) are an important tool for improving through-process robustness of advanced lithographic processes. Assist features have generally been placed and adjusted according to heuristic rules. The complexity of these rules increases rapidly with shrinking features size requiring more wafer data for calibration and more effort on the part of engineers. For advanced nodes, a model-based approach may better account for the variety of two-dimensional geometries and reduce substantially the amount of user effort required for effective SRAF placement. There are many ways in which model-based methods can be used to improve the effectiveness of assist features; we investigate several here. In the investigations described here, process window models may be employed to: 1) derive optimal rules for initial AF placement in a rule-based process, 2) resolve mask rule violations in optimal ways, and 3) make post-placement corrections of mask sites with poor behavior. In addition, we discuss a method for replacing an initial rule-based assist feature placement with a model-based placement which can consider the local two-dimensional geometry.

Paper Details

Date Published: 15 March 2006
PDF: 7 pages
Proc. SPIE 6154, Optical Microlithography XIX, 61542C (15 March 2006); doi: 10.1117/12.656691
Show Author Affiliations
Levi D. Barnes, Synopsys, Inc. (United States)
Benjamin D. Painter, Synopsys, Inc. (United States)
Lawrence S. Melvin, Synopsys, Inc. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6154:
Optical Microlithography XIX
Donis G. Flagello, Editor(s)

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