Pattern roughness is a major problem in advanced lithography for semiconductor manufacturing, especially for the insertion of extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography as proposed in the coming years. Current approaches to roughness reduction have not yielded the desired results. Here, a new global optimization approach is proposed, taking advantage of the different strengths and weaknesses of lithography and etch. Lithography should focus on low-frequency roughness by minimizing both the low-frequency power spectral density and the correlation length. Etch should focus on high frequency roughness by growing the correlation length. By making unbiased measurements of the roughness, including the power spectral density, the parameters needed to guide these optimization efforts become available. The old approach, of individually seeking to reduce the 3σ roughness of pre- and post-etch features, is unlikely to lead to the required progress in overall roughness reduction for EUV.
Chris A. Mack, "Reducing roughness in extreme ultraviolet lithography," Proc. SPIE 10450, International Conference on Extreme Ultraviolet Lithography 2017, 104500P (Presented at SPIE Photomask Technology and EUV Lithography: September 13, 2017; Published: 16 October 2017); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2281605.
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