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Proceedings Paper

Applications of TM polarized illumination
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Paper Abstract

The use of transverse electric (TE) polarization has dominated illumination schemes as selective polarization is used for high-NA patterning. The benefits of TE polarization are clear - the interference of diffracted beams remains absolute at oblique angles. Transverse magnetic (TM) polarization is usually considered less desirable as imaging modulation from interference at large angle falls off rapidly as the 1/cosθ. Significant potential remains, however, for the use of TM polarization at large angles when its reflection component is utilized. By controlling the resist/substrate interface reflectivity, high modulation for TM polarization can be maintained for angles up to 90° in the resist. This can potentially impact the design of illumination away from most recent TE-only schemes for oblique imaging angles (high NA). We demonstrate several cases of TM illumination combined with tuned substrate reflectivity for 0.93NA, 1.20NA, and 1.35NA and compare results to TE and unpolarized cases. The goal is to achieve a flat response through polarization at large imaging angles. An additional application of TM illumination is its potential use for double patterning. As double patterning and double exposure approaches are sought in order to meet the needs of 32nm device generations and beyond, materials and process engineering challenges become prohibitive. We have devised a method for frequency doubling in a single exposure using an unconventional means of polarization selection and by making use of the reflective component produced at the photoresist/substrate interface. In doing so, patterns can be deposited into a photoresist film with double density. As an example, using a projection system numerical aperture of 1.20, with water as an immersion fluid, and a conventional polyacrylate 193nm photoresist, pattern resolution at 20nm half-pitch are obtainable (which is 0.125lambda/NA). The process to transfer this geometry into a hardmask layer uses conventional materials, including the photoresist layer and thin film silicon oxide based materials.

Paper Details

Date Published: 12 March 2008
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 6924, Optical Microlithography XXI, 69240J (12 March 2008); doi: 10.1117/12.775739
Show Author Affiliations
Bruce Smith, Rochester Institute of Technology (United States)
Jianming Zhou, Rochester Institute of Technology (United States)
Peng Xie, Rochester Institute of Technology (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6924:
Optical Microlithography XXI
Harry J. Levinson; Mircea V. Dusa, Editor(s)

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