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Proceedings Paper

The impact of mask design on EUV imaging
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Paper Abstract

EUV exposure tools are the leading contenders for patterning critical layers at the 22nm technology node. Operating at the wavelength of 13.5nm, with modest projection optics numerical aperture (NA), EUV projectors allow less stringent image formation conditions. On the other hand, the imaging performance requirements will place high demands on the mechanical and optical properties of these imaging systems. A key characteristic of EUV projection optics is the application of a reflective mask, which consists of a reflective multilayer stack on which the IC layout is represented by the reflectivity discontinuities1. Several mask concepts can provide such characteristics, such as thick absorbers on top of a reflective multi-layer stack, masks with embedded absorbers, or absorber-free masks with patterns etched in a reflective multilayer. This report analyzes imaging performance and tradeoffs of such new mask designs. Various mask types and geometries are evaluated through imaging simulations. The applied mask models take into account the topographic nature of the mask structures, as well as the fundamental, vectorial characteristics of the EUV imaging process. Resulting EUV images are compared in terms of their process stability as well as their sensitivities to the EUV-specific effects, such as pattern shift and image tilt, driven by the reflective design of the exposure system and the mask topography. The simulations of images formed in EUV exposure tools are analyzed from the point of view of the EUV mask users. The fundamental requirements of EUV mask technologies are discussed. These investigations spotlight the tradeoffs of each mask concept and could serve as guidelines for EUV mask engineering.

Paper Details

Date Published: 11 May 2009
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 7379, Photomask and Next-Generation Lithography Mask Technology XVI, 73792H (11 May 2009); doi: 10.1117/12.824331
Show Author Affiliations
Thomas Schmoeller, Synopsys GmbH (Germany)
Jacek K. Tyminski, Nikon Precision Inc. (United States)
John Lewellen, Synopsys Inc. (United States)
Wolfgang Demmerle, Synopsys GmbH (Germany)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7379:
Photomask and Next-Generation Lithography Mask Technology XVI
Kunihiro Hosono, Editor(s)

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