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Proceedings Paper

The impact of scanner model vectorization on optical proximity correction
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Paper Abstract

Low pass filtering taking place in the projection tools used by IC industry leads to a range of optical proximity effects resulting in undesired IC characteristics. To correct these predicable OPEs, EDA industry developed various, model-based correction methodologies. Of course, the success of this mission is strongly dependent on how complete the imaging models are. To represent the image formation and to capture the OPEs, the EDA community adopted various models based on simplified representations of the projection tools. Resulting optical proximity correction models are capable of correcting OPEs driven by the fundamental imaging conditions such as wavelength, illuminator layout, reticle technology, and lens numerical aperture, to name a few. It is well known in the photolithography community that OPEs are dependent on the scanner characteristics. Therefore, to reach the level of accuracy required by the leading edge IC designs, photolithography simulation has to include systematic scanner fingerprint data. These tool fingerprints capture excursions of the imaging tools from the ideal imaging setup conditions. They quantify the performance of key projection tool components such as illuminator and lens signatures. To address the imaging accuracy requirements, the scanner engineering and the EDA communities developed OPC models capable of correcting for imaging tools engineering attributes captured by the imaging tools fingerprints. Deployment of immersion imaging systems has presented the photolithography community with new opportunities and challenges. These advanced scanners, designed to image in deep sub-wavelength regime, incorporate features invoking the optical phenomena previously unexplored in commercial scanners. Most notably, the state of the art scanners incorporate illuminators with high degree of polarization control and projection lenses with hyper-NAs. The image formation in these advanced projectors exploits a wide range of vectorial interactions originating at the illuminator, on the pattern mask, in the projection lens and at the wafer. The presence of these, previously subdued phenomena requires that the imaging simulation methodologies be refined, increasing the complexity of the OPE models and optical proximity correction methodologies.

Paper Details

Date Published: 15 May 2007
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 6607, Photomask and Next-Generation Lithography Mask Technology XIV, 66071L (15 May 2007); doi: 10.1117/12.728968
Show Author Affiliations
Jacek K. Tyminski, Nikon Precision Inc. (United States)
Tashiharu Nakashima, Nikon Corp. (Japan)
Qiaolin Zhang, Synopsys, Inc. (United States)
Tomoyuki Matsuyama, Nikon Corp. (Japan)
Kevin Lucas, Synopsys, Inc. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6607:
Photomask and Next-Generation Lithography Mask Technology XIV
Hidehiro Watanabe, Editor(s)

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