Lithographic patterning limits can be a cost-barrier that delays advancement to new nodes. This paper
introduces a cost-saving design method that enables a maskless via. Multi-patterning or coloring of a
design is a technique that is used at advanced nodes to aid in patterning. Coloring allows designers to
designate different patterns on one level to be printed with different masks. Stitch overlap via (SOV) is a
coloring technique introduced herein. SOV utilizes via-aware coloring and a unique process flow to print
a maskless via. Identification of qualifying design structures is achieved through a custom program. The
program inputs the design level of the multipatterned layer and the via levels above and below to
determine the coloring decomposition. Vias are a particularly challenging layer to print due to the
dimensions required for these pillars. SOV is a methodology for identifying qualifying multi-patterned
layouts and replacing them with a new design that enables a maskless via layer.
D. Civay and E. Laffosse, "Stitch overlap via coloring technique enables maskless via," Proc. SPIE 10148, Design-Process-Technology Co-optimization for Manufacturability XI, 101480R (Presented at SPIE Advanced Lithography: March 02, 2017; Published: 28 March 2017); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2258640.
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