24 May 2004 Photomask disposition based on simulated device performance
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The performance characteristics of a microelectronic device depend on the physical structure of the device. The device structure fabrication process involves lithography imaging and etching steps using photomasks. A mask with defects may lead to a device structure that deviates from intended geometry. The device structure deviation may result in inferior device performance. To ensure desired device performance from a fabricated device, a mask inspection is performed to dispose defective masks that may result in device structures with inferior device performance. The disposition decision is currently based on defect size and other properties seen at the mask level. By using lithography simulation based technology, the defect printability is also considered in defect disposition. However, the defect size and other properties at the mask level and even defect printability at wafer level may or may not lead to device structures with inferior performance. Such an early disposition decision could be very costly because repair process is time consuming, not all defects are repairable, and repair may introduce new defects. To improve the defect disposition, we present a new flow and method that is based on process simulation and device performance modeling using photomask inspection image. Our case study shows two defects both classified as killer defects by defect printability have very different impact on device performance.
© (2004) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Linyong Pang, Linyong Pang, Xiaopeng Xu, Xiaopeng Xu, } "Photomask disposition based on simulated device performance", Proc. SPIE 5375, Metrology, Inspection, and Process Control for Microlithography XVIII, (24 May 2004); doi: 10.1117/12.536588; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.536588

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