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16 October 2019 Creating nonideality: enabling cross-platform process matching solutions with MPC (and a lot of hard work)
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Abstract
The bulk of photomask demand is in technology nodes ≥65nm, using equipment, processes, and materials developed more than two decades ago1. Despite mature processes and tools, mask makers are challenged to meet continuing demand. The challenge comes not only in the forms of increased demand, but also that much of the equipment is approaching the end of its viable lifetime to support and maintain due to parts or expertise availability2. Mask writers in particular are problematic from a technical and financial perspective. Modern equipment and processes can be “too good” to simply use as a direct substitute when original equipment or processes become unavailable During initial lithography and device integration, device manufacturers tailored Optical Proximity Correction (OPC) and other wafer processing conditions based on the original mask signature for multiple mask layers. Changing to state-of-the-art mask fidelity would actually represent a liability, as the altered mask character could result in device shifts, yield reduction, or even unanticipated reliability failures. To account for the improved fidelity, re-optimization of the synergistic patterning between mask, wafer lithography and etch is required. Even on mature technologies, reintegration can require costly, difficult, and time-consuming requalification. While this path has often been pursued when manufacturers declare EOL of tools, we propose instead to contain the change in the mask shop by using Mask Process Corrections (MPC)3. Instead of using MPC to maximize mask fidelity, as is done in advanced nodes, we use MPC to replicate the original mask non-idealities on a new mask process.
Conference Presentation
© (2019) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Charles Whiting, Ingo Bork, Peter Buck, Robin Chia, Bharadwaj Durvasula, Daniel M. Hill, Gazi Huda, Ken Jantzen, Matthew Leuthold, Jianliang Li, Joerg Mellmann, Kushlendra Mishra, Jed Rankin, Nageswara Rao, Malavika Sharma, Rachit Sharma, Adam Smith, and Michaela Wentz "Creating nonideality: enabling cross-platform process matching solutions with MPC (and a lot of hard work)", Proc. SPIE 11148, Photomask Technology 2019, 1114805 (16 October 2019); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2538347
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