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28 May 2004 Toward automatic mask and source optimization for optical lithography
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The application of resolution enhancement techniques pushes optical projection lithography close to its theoretical limit with a k1-factor of 0.25. For the imaging close to this limit the interaction between the mask and the shape of the illumination aperture gains increasing importance. By jointly optimizing the mask and the source low k1 images can be printed with process latitudes not achievable otherwise. This paper proposes a new optimization procedure for mask and source geometries in optical projection lithography. A general merit function is introduced, that evaluates the imaging performance of specific patterns over a certain focus range. It also takes certain technological aspects, that are defined by the manufacturability and inspectability criteria for the mask, into account. Automatic optimization of the mask and illumination parameters with a genetic algorithm identifies optimum imaging conditions without any additional a-priori knowledge about lithographic processes. Several examples demonstrate the potential of the proposed concept.
© (2004) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Andreas Erdmann, Tim Fuehner, Thomas Schnattinger, and Bernd Tollkuehn "Toward automatic mask and source optimization for optical lithography", Proc. SPIE 5377, Optical Microlithography XVII, (28 May 2004);


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