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Proceedings Paper

Assist features: placement, impact, and relevance for EUV imaging
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Paper Abstract

Assist features are commonly used in DUV lithography to improve the lithographic process window of isolated features under illumination conditions that enable the printability of dense features. With the introduction of EUV lithography, the interaction between 13.5 nm light and the mask features generates strong mask 3D effects. On wafer, the mask 3D effects manifest as pitch-dependent best focus positions, pattern asymmetries and image contrast loss. To minimize the mask 3D effects, and enhance the lithographic process window, we explore by means of wafer print evaluation the use of assist features with different sizes and placements. The assist features are placed next to isolated features and two bar structures, consistent with theN5 (imec iN7) node dimensions for 0.33NA and we use different types of off-axis illumination . For the generic iN7 structures, wafer imaging will be compared to simulation results and an assessment of optimal assist feature configuration will be made. It is also essential to understand the potential benefit of using assist features and to weigh that benefit against the price of complexity associated with adding sub-resolution features on a production mask. To that end, we include an OPC study that compares a layout treated with assist features, to one without assist features, using full-chip complexity metrics like data size.

Paper Details

Date Published: 18 March 2016
PDF: 17 pages
Proc. SPIE 9776, Extreme Ultraviolet (EUV) Lithography VII, 97761S (18 March 2016); doi: 10.1117/12.2220025
Show Author Affiliations
Iacopo Mochi, IMEC (Belgium)
Vicky Philipsen, IMEC (Belgium)
Emily Gallagher, IMEC (Belgium)
Eric Hendrickx, IMEC (Belgium)
Kateryna Lyakhova, ASML Netherlands B.V. (Netherlands)
Friso Wittebrood, ASML Netherlands B.V. (Netherlands)
Guido Schiffelers, ASML Netherlands B.V. (Netherlands)
Timon Fliervoet, ASML Netherlands B.V. (Netherlands)
Shibing Wang, ASML Brion (United States)
Stephen Hsu, ASML Brion (United States)
Vince Plachecki, ASML Brion (United States)
Stan Baron, ASML Brion (United States)
Bart Laenens, ASML Brion (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 9776:
Extreme Ultraviolet (EUV) Lithography VII
Eric M. Panning, Editor(s)

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