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24 March 2017 SAQP and EUV block patterning of BEOL metal layers on IMEC's iN7 platform
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The imec N7 (iN7) platform has been developed to evaluate EUV patterning of advanced logic BEOL layers. Its design is based on a 42 nm first-level metal (M1) pitch, and a 32 nm pitch for the subsequent M2 layer. With these pitches, the iN7 node is an ‘aggressive’ full-scaled N7, corresponding to IDM N7, or foundry N5.

Even in a 1D design style, single exposure of the 16 nm half-pitch M2 layer is very challenging for EUV lithography, because of its tight tip-to-tip configurations. Therefore, the industry is considering the hybrid use of ArFi-based SAQP combined with EUV Block as an alternative to EUV single exposure. As a consequence, the EUV Block layer may be one of the first layers to adopt EUV lithography in HVM.

In this paper, we report on the imec iN7 SAQP + Block litho performance and process integration, targeting the M2 patterning for a 7.5 track logic design. The Block layer is exposed on an ASML NXE:3300 EUV-scanner at imec, using optimized illumination conditions and state-of-the-art metal-containing negative tone resist (Inpria). Subsequently, the SAQP and block structures are characterized in a morphological study, assessing pattern fidelity and CD/EPE variability. The work is an experimental feasibility study of EUV insertion, for SAQP + Block M2 patterning on an industry-relevant N5 use-case.
Conference Presentation
© (2017) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.

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