18 December 1998 Assessment of corner-rounding improvement by automatic software correction on laser pattern generator manufactured photomasks
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Abstract
With smaller feature sizes and higher pattern densities on high end reticles for DUV lithography, pattern fidelity on mask features becomes essential for wafer lithography performance. The corner rounding on the mask directly results in line shortening on the wafer. One of the main disadvantages of modern laser pattern generating tools for mask making like the ALTA tools, compared to electron beam tools like the latest MEBES4500, is pattern fidelity. The corner radius on photo-masks is mainly determined by the beam spot diameter used for printing, and the resist and chrome etching process following. This paper will discuss the possibility to reduce corner rounding on ALTA reticles by applying small serifs to feature corners in the ALTA exposure data by automatic software correction of the original design data. Issues as correction time of a chip, increase in data volume and the effect on mask manufacturing will be discussed. High resolution images, CD-measurements and aerial images of regular and corner rounding improved features will be compared. The gain in corner rounding of masks manufactured on the ALTA3000 and ALTA3500 are evaluated. Feasibility and applicability of that method in a mask shop manufacturing flow is discussed.
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Wolfram Ziegler, Anja Rosenbusch, "Assessment of corner-rounding improvement by automatic software correction on laser pattern generator manufactured photomasks", Proc. SPIE 3546, 18th Annual BACUS Symposium on Photomask Technology and Management, (18 December 1998); doi: 10.1117/12.332844; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.332844
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