24 March 2017 Enhanced OPC recipe coverage and early hotspot detection through automated layout generation and analysis
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Abstract
State-of-the-art OPC recipes for production semiconductor manufacturing are fine-tuned, often artfully crafted parameter sets are designed to achieve design fidelity and maximum process window across the enormous variety of patterns in a given design level. In the typical technology lifecycle, the process for creating a recipe is iterative. In the initial stages, very little to no “real” design content is available for testing. Therefore, an engineer may start with the recipe from a previous node; adjust it based on known ground rules and a few test patterns and/or scaled designs, and then refine it based on hardware results. As the technology matures, more design content becomes available to refine the recipe, but it becomes more difficult to make major changes without significantly impacting the overall technology scope and schedule. The dearth of early design information is a major risk factor: unforeseen patterning difficulties (e.g. due to holes in design rules) are costly when caught late.

To mitigate this risk, we propose an automated flow that is capable of producing large-scale realistic design content, and then optimizing the OPC recipe parameters to maximize the process window for this layout. The flow was tested with a triple-patterned 10nm node 1X metal level. First, design-rule clean layouts were produced with a tool called Layout Schema Generator (LSG). Next, the OPC recipe was optimized on these layouts, with a resulting reduction in the number of hotspots. For experimental validation, the layouts were placed on a test mask, and the predicted hotspots were compared with hardware data.
Conference Presentation
© (2017) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Ayman Hamouda, Ayman Hamouda, Mohamed Bahnas, Mohamed Bahnas, Dan Schumacher, Dan Schumacher, Ioana Graur, Ioana Graur, Ao Chen, Ao Chen, Kareem Madkour, Kareem Madkour, Hussein Ali, Hussein Ali, Jason Meiring, Jason Meiring, Neal Lafferty, Neal Lafferty, Chris McGinty, Chris McGinty, } "Enhanced OPC recipe coverage and early hotspot detection through automated layout generation and analysis", Proc. SPIE 10147, Optical Microlithography XXX, 101470R (24 March 2017); doi: 10.1117/12.2260769; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2260769
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