To meet the scaling requirements and keep process complexity to a minimum, EUV is increasingly seen as the platform for delivering the exposures for both the grating and the cut/block patterns beyond N7. In this work, we evaluated the overlay and pattern fidelity of an EUV block printed in a negative tone resist on an ArF-i SAQP grating. High-order Overlay modeling and corrections during the exposure can reduce overlay error after development, a significant component of the total EPE. During etch, additional degrees of freedom are available to improve the pattern placement error in single layer processes.
Process control of advanced pitch nanoscale-multi-patterning techniques as described above is exceedingly complicated in a high volume manufacturing environment. Incorporating potential patterning optimizations into both design and HVM controls for the lithography process is expected to bring a combined benefit over individual optimizations. In this work we will show the EPE performance improvement for a 32nm pitch SAQP + block patterned Metal 2 layer by cooptimizing the lithography and etch processes. Recommendations for further improvements and alternative processes will be given.