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Proceedings Paper

Generalized inverse lithography methods for phase-shifting mask design
Author(s): Xu Ma; Gonzalo R. Arce
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Paper Abstract

Optical proximity correction (OPC) and phase shifting mask (PSM) are resolution enhancement techniques (RET) used extensively in the semiconductor industry to improve the resolution and pattern fidelity of optical lithography. In this paper, we develop generalized gradient-based RET optimization methods to solve for the inverse lithography problem, where the search space is not constrained to a finite phase tessellation but where arbitrary search trajectories in the complex space are allowed. Subsequent mask quantization leads to efficient design of PSMs having an arbitrary number of discrete phases. In order to influence the solution patterns to have more desirable manufacturability properties, a wavelet regularization framework is introduced offering more localized flexibility than total-variation regularization methods traditionally employed in inverse problems. The proposed algorithms provide highly effective four-phase PSMs capable of generating mask patterns with arbitrary Manhattan geometries. Furthermore, a double-exposure optimization method for general inverse lithography is developed where each exposure uses an optimized two-phase mask.

Paper Details

Date Published: 27 March 2007
PDF: 16 pages
Proc. SPIE 6520, Optical Microlithography XX, 65200U (27 March 2007); doi: 10.1117/12.711559
Show Author Affiliations
Xu Ma, Univ. of Delaware (United States)
Gonzalo R. Arce, Univ. of Delaware (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6520:
Optical Microlithography XX
Donis G. Flagello, Editor(s)

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