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26 June 2003 A methodology to calculate line-end correction feature performance as a function of reticle cost
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Mask fabrication costs are significantly aggravated by OPC complexity. This increased complexity is presumably needed to accurately render 2-D configurations. The humble line-end is one of the most difficult 2-D configurations to print accurately, when considering process margin requirements and mask fabrication constraints. In this paper, the requirements for proximity corrected line-end structures will be explored and a pattern complexity metric will be proposed to compare relative mask cost versus line-end lithographic performance. Many types of correction shapes are available to improve process margin for line-ends. However, the cost of producing these various line-end configurations can vary dramatically. Using both a simple optical model to simulate line-end performance through focus offset and a cost metric based on fracture shots, a comparison of six types of lines ends for correction and process efficiency will be undertaken. Each of the six line-end corrections will attempt to produce equally effective silicon line-end shapes. Line-ends will be evaluated based on shortening (pullback), pinching, and bridging characteristics. Line-end lithographic behavior will be characterized through all process window boundary conditions. The objective of this study is to quantify the tradeoffs among three variables: mask cost, process-window robustness, and design tolerance margin. In addition, through the study of proximity effects on the various line-end types, the possibility of mixing expensive but high performance line-ends with simpler less aggressive line-ends to reduce reticle cost while maintaining or increasing correction fidelity will be studied.
© (2003) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Lawrence S. Melvin III, James P. Shiely, Michael L. Rieger, and Benjamin Painter "A methodology to calculate line-end correction feature performance as a function of reticle cost", Proc. SPIE 5040, Optical Microlithography XVI, (26 June 2003);


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