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26 July 1999 Alternating phase-shifted mask for logic gate levels, design, and mask manufacturing
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While the benefits of alternating phase shifted masks in improving lithographic process windows at increased resolution are well known throughout the lithography community, broad implementation of this potentially powerful technique has been slow due to the inherent complexity of the layout design and mask manufacturing process. This paper will review a project undertaken at IBM's Semiconductor Research and Development Center and Mask Manufacturing and Development facility to understand the technical and logistical issues associated with the application of alternating phase shifted mask technology to the gate level of a full microprocessor chip. The work presented here depicts an important milestone toward integration of alternating phase shifted masks into the manufacturing process by demonstrating an automated design solution and yielding a functional alternating phase shifted mask. The design conversion of the microprocessor gate level to a conjugate twin shifter alternating phase shift layout was accomplished with IBM's internal design system that automatically scaled the design, added required phase regions, and resolved phase conflicts. The subsequent fabrication of a nearly defect free phase shifted mask, as verified by SEM based die to die inspection, highlights the maturity of the alternating phase shifted mask manufacturing process in IBM's internal mask facility. Well defined and recognized challenges in mask inspection and repair remain and the layout of alternating phase shifted masks present a design and data preparation overhead, but the data presented here demonstrate the feasibility of designing and building manufacturing quality alternating phase shifted masks for the gate level of a microprocessor.
© (1999) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Lars W. Liebmann, Ioana C. Graur, William C. Leipold, James M. Oberschmidt, David S. O'Grady, and Denis Regaill "Alternating phase-shifted mask for logic gate levels, design, and mask manufacturing", Proc. SPIE 3679, Optical Microlithography XII, (26 July 1999);

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