5 July 2000 Impact of optical enhancement techniques on the mask error enhancement function (MEEF)
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Resolution, R, in optical lithography is often described by the Rayleigh equation: R equals k1(lambda) /NA. Since the 0.25 um generation there has been a trend of aggressive gate length reduction for high performance devices. Leading edge logic technologies require gate CDs equal to ½to 2/3 the wavelength of the exposure system. Even with high NA steppers and scanners low k1 patterning is a requirement. Development of processes utilizing OPC and PSM technology is critical to achieving adequate process latitude and CD control. As k1 factor falls below 0.5 the image quality and contrast degrades substantially. One result of low contrast images is that the CD variation in the photomask gives rise to larger than expected printed CD changes: the so-called MEEF. The MEEF can be simply defined as the ratio of the change of the resist feature width to the change in the mask feature width, assuming constant process and illumination conditions. For a 4x mask the MEEF can be calculated.
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Marina V. Plat, Marina V. Plat, Khanh B. Nguyen, Khanh B. Nguyen, Chris A. Spence, Chris A. Spence, Christopher F. Lyons, Christopher F. Lyons, Amada Wilkison, Amada Wilkison, } "Impact of optical enhancement techniques on the mask error enhancement function (MEEF)", Proc. SPIE 4000, Optical Microlithography XIII, (5 July 2000); doi: 10.1117/12.389009; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.389009

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