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14 September 2001 Process dependencies of optical proximity corrections
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Optical Proximity Correction has emerged as an industry standard technique to reproduce the desired shapes on wafers as pattern dimensions are approaching the optical resolution limits. However secondary effects, if not properly controlled, may impede successful application of this technique. In order to better assess these factors we have divided the overall pattern formation process into several obvious components: The illumination system, mask, projection optics, resist system and finally etch processes. Each one of these components influences the optical proximity effects observed in the final pattern. The dependence of optical proximity corrections on the type of illumination is fairly well known and will only be touched on. Variations in the mask manufacturing process such as deviations of the mask critical dimension from its nominal value will be discussed. The type of e-beam exposure tool used to write the mask was found to have profound impact on optical proximity correction and therefore specifying the type of mask writing tool and sometimes even its writing mode to ensure reproducible results is required. Lens aberrations in the optical exposure tool and their impact were studied using aerial image simulations. Examples of optical proximity curves from different first generation tools show significant differences even between tools of the same type. Resist effects and the variations induced by modifying etch processes were investigated emphasizing that a fairly detailed control of the overall pattern formation process is necessary to successfully implement any OPC approach.
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Franz X. Zach, Donald J. Samuels, Alan C. Thomas, and Shahid A. Butt "Process dependencies of optical proximity corrections", Proc. SPIE 4346, Optical Microlithography XIV, (14 September 2001);

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