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Proceedings Paper

Characterizing the dependence of thick-mask edge effects on illumination angle using AIMS images
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Paper Abstract

Mask topography contributes diffraction-induced phase near edges, affecting the through-focus intensity variation and hence the process window at the wafer. We analyze the impact of edge diffraction on projection printing directly with experiments on an aerial image measurement system (AIMS). We show here that topographic effects change with illumination angle and can be quantified using through-focus intensity measurements. Off- axis incidence influences not just defocus image behavior (as for normal incidence), but also the at-focus intensity at wafer. Moreover, with oblique illumination, mask diffraction varies for left-facing and right-facing sidewalls, the nature of the asymmetry being polarization dependent. The image degradation due the polarization parallel to the sidewall (TE) is seen to be stronger, owing to the interplay of mask topography and pupil filtering in the imaging system. This translates to a CD variation of 2% between the two polarizations, even at focus. A simple thin-mask boundary layer model that treats each sidewall independently is shown to be able to approximate mask topography induced diffraction for both polarizations with 5-10nm wide boundary layers.

Paper Details

Date Published: 26 March 2015
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 9426, Optical Microlithography XXVIII, 94260O (26 March 2015); doi: 10.1117/12.2087615
Show Author Affiliations
Aamod Shanker, Univ. of California, Berkeley (United States)
Martin Sczyrba, Advanced Mask Technology Ctr. GmbH Co. KG (Germany)
Falk Lange, Advanced Mask Technology Ctr. GmbH Co. KG (Germany)
Brid Connolly, Toppan Photomasks, Inc. (Germany)
Andrew R. Neureuther, Univ. of California, Berkeley (United States)
Laura Waller, Univ. of California, Berkeley (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 9426:
Optical Microlithography XXVIII
Kafai Lai; Andreas Erdmann, Editor(s)

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