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Proceedings Paper

Practical mask inspection system with printability and pattern priority verification
Author(s): Hideo Tsuchiya; Fumio Ozaki; Kenichi Takahara; Takafumi Inoue; Nobutaka Kikuiri
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Paper Abstract

Through the four years of study in Association of Super-Advanced Electronics Technologies (ASET) on reducing mask manufacturing Turn Around Time (TAT) and cost, we have been able to establish a technology to improve the efficiency of the review process by applying a printability verification function that utilizes computational lithography simulations to analyze defects detected by a high-resolution mask inspection system. With the advent of Source-Mask Optimization (SMO) and other technologies that extend the life of existing optical lithography, it is becoming extremely difficult to judge a defect only by the shape of a mask pattern, while avoiding pseudo-defects. Thus, printability verification is indispensable for filtering out nuisance defects from high-resolution mask inspection results. When using computational lithography simulations to verify printability with high precision, the image captured by the inspection system must be prepared with extensive care. However, for practical applications, this preparation process needs to be simplified. In addition, utilizing Mask Data Rank (MDR) to vary the defect detection sensitivity according to the patterns is also useful for simultaneously inspecting minute patterns and avoiding pseudo-defects. Combining these two technologies, we believe practical mask inspection for next generation lithography is achievable. We have been improving the estimation accuracy of the printability verification function through discussion with several customers and evaluation of their masks. In this report, we will describe the progress of these practical mask verification functions developed through customers' evaluations.

Paper Details

Date Published: 19 May 2011
PDF: 7 pages
Proc. SPIE 8081, Photomask and Next-Generation Lithography Mask Technology XVIII, 80810D (19 May 2011); doi: 10.1117/12.899487
Show Author Affiliations
Hideo Tsuchiya, NuFlare Technology, Inc. (Japan)
Fumio Ozaki, NuFlare Technology, Inc. (Japan)
Kenichi Takahara, NuFlare Technology, Inc. (Japan)
Takafumi Inoue, NuFlare Technology, Inc. (Japan)
Nobutaka Kikuiri, NuFlare Technology, Inc. (Japan)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8081:
Photomask and Next-Generation Lithography Mask Technology XVIII
Toshio Konishi, Editor(s)

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