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Proceedings Paper

Multi-layer reticle (MLR) strategy application to double-patterning/double-exposure for better overlay error control and mask cost reduction
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Paper Abstract

Double-patterning lithography / double-exposure lithography is believed to be a solution in order to enable the 32nm-Half-Pitch (HP) and below process node until EUV lithography infrastructure is ready. However, one of the biggest challenges is the overlay budget along with critical dimension (CD) control. In this paper, we propose that instead of using multiple masks for the DPL (STD DPL), multiple split patterns are printed on a single mask so that each pattern is separately or simultaneously exposed onto a wafer in order to reduce the mask-to-mask overlay error. This can also reduce the mask cost and mask manufacturing time compared with STD DPL, at the expense of reducing manufacturing throughput. We propose two ideas about how to place the split patterns in a single mask and simulate corresponding shot throughput comparisons. The results show that by using multi-layer reticle (MLR) strategy for splitting the original layout into 2 split patterns onto a single mask (Method I), we achieve: 1) reduction of the mask-to-mask overlay error factor 2) use of a single mask (reducing mask costs) and 3) reduction of wafer shot throughput to roughly 50% of that achieved by STD DPL. Also by using our new approach of placing multiple-split patterns to form the arrays within the mask scribe (Method II), we achieve: 1) reduction of the mask-to-mask overlay error factor 2) use of a single mask (reducing mask costs) and 3) drastically improved wafer shot throughput (at least 90% of the STD DPL, 180% of Method I).

Paper Details

Date Published: 30 October 2007
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 6730, Photomask Technology 2007, 67302X (30 October 2007); doi: 10.1117/12.746158
Show Author Affiliations
Yasuhisa Yamamoto, Cadence Design Systems, Japan (Japan)
Rodney Rigby, Cadence Design Systems, Inc. (United States)
Jason Sweis, Cadence Design Systems, Inc. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6730:
Photomask Technology 2007
Robert J. Naber; Hiroichi Kawahira, Editor(s)

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