20 March 2018 Exploring EUV and SAQP pattering schemes at 5nm technology node
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For years, Moore’s law keeps driving the semiconductors industry towards smaller dimensions and higher density chips with more devices. Earlier, the correlation between exposure source’s wave length and the smallest resolvable dimension, mandated the usage of Deep Ultra-Violent (DUV) optical lithography system which has been used for decades to sustain Moore’s law, especially when immersion lithography was introduced with 193nm ArF laser sources. As dimensions of devices get smaller beyond Deep Ultra-Violent (DUV) optical resolution limits, the need for Extremely Ultra-Violent (EUV) optical lithography systems was a must. However, EUV systems were still under development at that time for the mass-production in semiconductors industry. Theretofore, Multi-Patterning (MP) technologies was introduced to swirl about DUV optical lithography limitations in advanced nodes beyond minimum dimension (CD) of 20nm. MP can be classified into two main categories; the first one is to split the target itself across multiple masks that give the original target patterns when they are printed. This category includes Double, Triple and Quadruple patterning (DP, TP, and QP). The second category is the Self-Aligned Patterning (SAP) where the target is divided into Mandrel patterns and non-Mandrel patterns. The Mandrel patterns get printed first, then a self-aligned sidewalls are grown around these printed patterns drawing the other non-Mandrel targets, afterword, a cut mask(s) is used to define target’s line-ends. This approach contains Self-Aligned-Double Pattering (SADP) and Self-Aligned- Quadruple-Pattering (SAQP). DUV and MP along together paved the way for the industry down to 7nm. However, with the start of development at the 5nm node and the readiness of EUV, the differentiation question is aroused again, which pattering approach should be selected, direct printing using EUV or DUV with MP, or a hybrid flow that contains both DUV-MP and EUV.

In this work we are comparing two potential pattering techniques for Back End Of Line (BEOL) metal layers in the 5nm technology node, the first technique is Single Exposure EUV (SE-EUV) with a Direct Patterning EUV lithography process, and the second one is Self-Aligned Quadruple Patterning (SAQP) with a hybrid lithography processes, where the drawn metal target layer is decomposed into a Mandrel mask and Blocks/Cut mask, Mandrel mask is printed using DUV 193i lithography process, while Block/Cut Mask is printed using SE-EUV lithography process. The pros and cons of each technique are quantified based on Edge-Placement-Error (EPE) and Process Variation Band (PVBand) measured at 1D and 2D edges. The layout used in this comparison is a candidate layout for Foundries 5nm process node.
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Ahmed Hamed Fatehy, Ahmed Hamed Fatehy, Rehab Kotb, Rehab Kotb, Neal Lafferty, Neal Lafferty, Fan Jiang, Fan Jiang, James Word, James Word, } "Exploring EUV and SAQP pattering schemes at 5nm technology node", Proc. SPIE 10583, Extreme Ultraviolet (EUV) Lithography IX, 105831X (20 March 2018); doi: 10.1117/12.2297408; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2297408

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