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Proceedings Paper

Scanner OPC signatures: automatic vendor-to-vendor OPE matching
Author(s): Stephen P. Renwick
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Paper Abstract

As 193nm lithography continues to be stretched and the k1 factor decreases, optical proximity correction (OPC) has become a vital part of the lithographer's tool kit. Unfortunately, as is now well known, the design variations of lithographic scanners from different vendors cause them to have slightly different optical-proximity effect (OPE) behavior, meaning that they print features through pitch in distinct ways. This in turn means that their response to OPC is not the same, and that an OPC solution designed for a scanner from Company 1 may or may not work properly on a scanner from Company 2. Since OPC is not inexpensive, that causes trouble for chipmakers using more than one brand of scanner. Clearly a scanner-matching procedure is needed to meet this challenge. Previously, automatic matching has only been reported for scanners of different tool generations from the same manufacturer. In contrast, scanners from different companies have been matched using expert tuning and adjustment techniques, frequently requiring laborious test exposures. Automatic matching between scanners from Company 1 and Company 2 has remained an unsettled problem. We have recently solved this problem and introduce a novel method to perform the automatic matching. The success in meeting this challenge required three enabling factors. First, we recognized the strongest drivers of OPE mismatch and are thereby able to reduce the information needed about a tool from another supplier to that information readily available from all modern scanners. Second, we developed a means of reliably identifying the scanners' optical signatures, minimizing dependence on process parameters that can cloud the issue. Third, we carefully employed standard statistical techniques, checking for robustness of the algorithms used and maximizing efficiency. The result is an automatic software system that can predict an OPC matching solution for scanners from different suppliers without requiring expert intervention.

Paper Details

Date Published: 16 March 2009
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 7274, Optical Microlithography XXII, 72740Q (16 March 2009); doi: 10.1117/12.814284
Show Author Affiliations
Stephen P. Renwick, Nikon Precision, Inc. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7274:
Optical Microlithography XXII
Harry J. Levinson; Mircea V. Dusa, Editor(s)

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