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Proceedings Paper

Photomask defect detection and inspection: aerial imaging and high resolution inspection strategies
Author(s): Sunghyun Oh; DaeHo Hwang; Inpyo Kim; Changreol Kim; Aviram Tam; Michael Ben Yishai; Yulian Wolff
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Paper Abstract

Advanced photomasks exploit complex patterns that show little resemblance to the target printed wafer pattern. The main mask pattern is modified by various OPC and SRAF features while further complexity is introduced as source-mask-optimization (SMO) technologies experience early adoption at leading manufacturers. The small size and irregularity of these features challenge the mask inspection process as well as the mask manufacturing process. The two major concerns for mask inspection and qualification efficacy of advanced masks are defect detection and photomask inspectability. Enhanced defect detection is critical for the overall mask manufacturing process qualification which entails characterization of the systematic deviations of the pattern. High resolution optical conditions are the optimal solution for manufacturing process qualification as well as a source of additional information for the mask qualification. Mask inspection using high resolution conditions operates on an optical image that differs from the aerial image. The high resolution image closely represents the mask plane pattern. Aerial imaging mode inspection conditions, where the optics of the inspection tool emulates the lithography manufacturing conditions in a scanner, are the most compatible imaging solution for photomask pattern development and hence mask inspectability. This is an optimal environment for performing mask printability characterization and qualification. In this paper we will compare the roles of aerial imaging and high resolution mask inspection in the mask house.

Paper Details

Date Published: 7 June 2010
PDF: 13 pages
Proc. SPIE 7748, Photomask and Next-Generation Lithography Mask Technology XVII, 774827 (7 June 2010); doi: 10.1117/12.869574
Show Author Affiliations
Sunghyun Oh, Hynix Semiconductor Inc. (Korea, Republic of)
DaeHo Hwang, Hynix Semiconductor Inc. (Korea, Republic of)
Inpyo Kim, Hynix Semiconductor Inc. (Korea, Republic of)
Changreol Kim, Hynix Semiconductor Inc. (Korea, Republic of)
Aviram Tam, Applied Materials (Israel)
Michael Ben Yishai, Applied Materials (Israel)
Yulian Wolff, Applied Materials (Israel)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7748:
Photomask and Next-Generation Lithography Mask Technology XVII
Kunihiro Hosono, Editor(s)

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