As semiconductor process technology moves down below 90nm and 65nm, more and more wafer fabs are starting to apply 193nm CPL (Chromeless Phase Lithography) technology as the main lithography strategy for their most critical layers. However the 3D pattern profile is another critical factor, which affects image intensity and final process window. Since 193nm CPL is a relatively new technology in the semiconductor industry, it is important for us to understand the key mask specifications of 193nm CPL and their impact on wafer-level imaging. In this paper, we will study the effects of sidewall angle on process window and wafer CD using 193nm CPL masks in a 300mm wafer manufacturing environment. We begin our experiment by making several special 193nm CPL masks. These masks have been specially designed with different sidewall angles (SWA) with phase of 180 degrees. The sidewall angle spread represents approximately 10 degrees. We use specially designed test patterns that are compatible at the 65nm technology node. In our experiment, we first study the correlation between AFM (atomic force microscope)-determined profile angle and lithographic process behavior. In addition, simulation was also used to predict the impact of 3D profile on process performance.
All lithographic experiments were performed on 300mm wafers using a high NA ASML 193nm scanner and high contrast resist. In this study, we have focused on the impact of sidewall angle on wafer process performance by comparing the wafer CD and pattern profile through focus. In order to establish more effective specifications of angle control in 193nm CPL between mask shop and wafer fabs, all AFM, wafer CD, and simulation results will be compared and correlated.