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22 January 2001 Phase phirst! An improved strong-PSM paradigm
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The remaining difficulties in applying dual exposure dark-field strong-PSM technology can be overcome using the Sidewall Chrome Alternating Aperture (SCAA) mask structure, first proposed in 1992 and now fabricated. With all silica sidewalls covered and all chrome supported, the SCAA mask is largely immune to the phase and amplitude anomalies that cause spacewidth alternation as well as the design, fabrication and cleaning difficulties that plague other structures. Maxwell's equation solvers predict that the optical phase will be essentially independent of aperture size. Chips designed with their fmest features on a pre-defined regular grid can employ generic SCAA mask substrates in which the topography has been pre-patterned using wafer fab techniques. Guaranteed defect-free SCAA mask substrates will be manufactured in large quantity and low cost if the design grids become standardized. Fabricating strong-PSMs using these Phase Phirst mask substrates will prove no more difficult for mask-makers than COG masks, and the reduced MEEF will permit loosened CD specifications, among other advantages. The Phase Phirst Paradigm promises to reduce optical lithography costs —even for ASIC manufactures — and to delay the need for NGL technologies.
© (2001) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
David Levenson, John S. Petersen, David J. Gerold, and Chris A. Mack "Phase phirst! An improved strong-PSM paradigm", Proc. SPIE 4186, 20th Annual BACUS Symposium on Photomask Technology, (22 January 2001);

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