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Proceedings Paper

Computational defect review for actinic mask inspections
Author(s): Paul Morgan; Daniel Rost; Daniel Price; Noel Corcoran; Masaki Satake; Peter Hu; Danping Peng; Dean Yonenaga; Vikram Tolani
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Paper Abstract

As optical lithography continues to extend into low-k1 regime, resolution of mask patterns continues to diminish. The limitation of 1.35 NA posed by water-based lithography has led to the application of various resolution enhancement techniques (RET), for example, use of strong phase-shifting masks, aggressive OPC and sub-resolution assist features, customized illuminators, etc. The adoption of these RET techniques combined with the requirements to detect even smaller defects on masks due to increasing MEEF, poses considerable challenges for a mask inspection engineer. Inspecting masks under their actinic-aerial image conditions would detect defects that are more likely to print under those exposure conditions. However, this also makes reviewing such defects in their low-contrast aerial images very challenging. On the other hand, inspecting masks under higher resolution inspection optics would allow for better viewing of defects post-inspection. However, such inspections generally would also detect many more defects, including printable and nuisance, thereby making it difficult to judge which are of real concern for printability on wafer. Often, an inspection engineer may choose to use Aerial and/or high resolution inspection modes depending on where in the process flow the mask is and the specific device-layer characteristics of the mask. Hence, a comprehensive approach is needed in handling defects both post-aerial and post-high resolution inspections. This analysis system is designed for the Applied Materials Aera™ mask inspection platform, all data reported was collected using the Aera.

Paper Details

Date Published: 10 April 2013
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 8681, Metrology, Inspection, and Process Control for Microlithography XXVII, 868122 (10 April 2013); doi: 10.1117/12.2013901
Show Author Affiliations
Paul Morgan, MP Mask Technology Ctr., LLC (United States)
Daniel Rost, MP Mask Technology Ctr., LLC (United States)
Daniel Price, MP Mask Technology Ctr., LLC (United States)
Noel Corcoran, Luminescent Technologies (United States)
Masaki Satake, Luminescent Technologies (United States)
Peter Hu, Luminescent Technologies (United States)
Danping Peng, Luminescent Technologies (United States)
Dean Yonenaga, Luminescent Technologies (United States)
Vikram Tolani, Luminescent Technologies (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8681:
Metrology, Inspection, and Process Control for Microlithography XXVII
Alexander Starikov; Jason P. Cain, Editor(s)

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