13 July 2017 Simulation-based MDP verification for leading-edge masks
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For IC design starts below the 20nm technology node, the assist features on photomasks shrink well below 60nm and the printed patterns of those features on masks written by VSB eBeam writers start to show a large deviation from the mask designs. Traditional geometry-based fracturing starts to show large errors for those small features. As a result, other mask data preparation (MDP) methods have become available and adopted, such as rule-based Mask Process Correction (MPC), model-based MPC and eventually model-based MDP.

The new MDP methods may place shot edges slightly differently from target to compensate for mask process effects, so that the final patterns on a mask are much closer to the design (which can be viewed as the ideal mask), especially for those assist features. Such an alteration generally produces better masks that are closer to the intended mask design. Traditional XOR-based MDP verification cannot detect problems caused by eBeam effects. Much like model-based OPC verification which became a necessity for OPC a decade ago, we see the same trend in MDP today.

Simulation-based MDP verification solution requires a GPU-accelerated computational geometry engine with simulation capabilities. To have a meaningful simulation-based mask check, a good mask process model is needed. The TrueModel® system is a field tested physical mask model developed by D2S. The GPU-accelerated D2S Computational Design Platform (CDP) is used to run simulation-based mask check, as well as model-based MDP. In addition to simulation-based checks such as mask EPE or dose margin, geometry-based rules are also available to detect quality issues such as slivers or CD splits. Dose margin related hotspots can also be detected by setting a correct detection threshold.

In this paper, we will demonstrate GPU-acceleration for geometry processing, and give examples of mask check results and performance data. GPU-acceleration is necessary to make simulation-based mask MDP verification acceptable.
© (2017) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Bo Su, Bo Su, Oleg Syrel, Oleg Syrel, Michael Pomerantsev, Michael Pomerantsev, Kazuyuki Hagiwara, Kazuyuki Hagiwara, Ryan Pearman, Ryan Pearman, Leo Pang, Leo Pang, Aki Fujimara, Aki Fujimara, } "Simulation-based MDP verification for leading-edge masks", Proc. SPIE 10454, Photomask Japan 2017: XXIV Symposium on Photomask and Next-Generation Lithography Mask Technology, 1045409 (13 July 2017); doi: 10.1117/12.2280841; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2280841

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