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27 December 2002 Programmable RET Mask Layout Verification
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Abstract
Emerging resolution enhancement techniques (RET) and OPC are dramatically increasing the complexity of mask layouts and, in turn, mask verification. Mask shapes needed to achieve required results on the wafer diverge significantly from corresponding shapes in the physical design, and in some cases a single chip layer may be decomposed into two masks used in multiple exposures. The mask verification challenge is to certify that a RET-synthesized mask layout will produce an acceptable facsimile of the design intent expressed in the design layout. Furthermore costs, tradeoffs between mask-complexity, design intent, targeted process latitude, and other factors are playing a growing role in helping to control rising mask costs. All of these considerations must in turn be incorporated into the mask layout verification strategy needed for data prep sign-off. In this paper we describe a technique for assessing the lithographic quality of mask layouts for diverse RET methods while effectively accommodating various manufacturing objectives and specifications. It leverages the familiar DRC paradigm for identifying errors and producing DRC-like error shapes in its output layout. It integrates a unique concept of “check figures” - layer-based geometries that dictate where and how simulations of shapes on the wafer are to be compared to the original desired layout. We will show how this provides a highly programmable environment that makes it possible to engage in “compound” check strategies that vary based on design intent and adaptive simulation with multiple checks. Verification may be applied at the “go/no go” level or can be used to build a body of data for quantitative analysis of lithographic behavior at multiple process conditions or for specific user-defined critical features. In addition, we will outline automated methods that guide the selection of input parameters controlling specific verification strategies.
© (2002) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Daniel F. Beale, Jeffrey P. Mayhew, Michael L. Rieger, and Zongwu Tang "Programmable RET Mask Layout Verification", Proc. SPIE 4889, 22nd Annual BACUS Symposium on Photomask Technology, (27 December 2002); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.471299
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