A complete evaluation of the optical proximity effects (OPE) and of their corrections (OPC) requires a quantitative description of two-dimensional (2D) parameters, both at resist- and at reticle-level. Because the 2D behaviour at line-ends and at line-corners can become a limiting factor for the yield, it should be taken into account when characterising a process, just as the CD- and pitch-linearity are already kept under control. This implies the measurement of 2D-metrics in a precise way. We used an SEM Image Analysis tool (ProDATA SIAM) to define and measure various OPC-relevant metrics for a C013 process.
For the METAL (M1) process, we show that the overlap between line-ends of M1-trenches and underlying nominal contacts is a relevant metric to describe the effectiveness of hammerheads. Moreover, it is an interesting metric to combine with the CD process window. For the GATE process, we demonstrate that for a given set of metrics there is a degree of OPC aggressiveness beyond which it is not worth to go. We considered both line-end shortening (LES) and corner rounding affecting the poly linewidth close to a contact pad, and this on various logic circuits having received different degrees of fragmentation. Finally the knowledge of the actual line-end contour on the reticle allows one to simulate separately the printing effect of that area loss at reticle line-ends. The area loss measured by comparing the extracted contour to the target one is regarded as a combination of pull-back and area loss at corners. For our C013 gate process, and for the 130nm lines at a 1:1.25 duty cycle, those two parameters contribute together to approximetely 40% of the measured LES in the resist. This fact raises the question of specifications on 2D reticle parameters. We also find a linear correlation between the area loss at reticle line-end corners and the corresponding increase of LES on the wafer, which suggests a way towards putting specifications on the reticle line-ends.