20 March 2006 How to obtain accurate resist simulations in very low-k1 era
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Abstract
A procedure for calibrating a resist model iteratively adjusts appropriate parameters until the simulations of the model match the experimental data. The tunable parameters may include the shape of the illuminator, the geometry and transmittance/phase of the mask, light source and scanner-related parameters that affect imaging quality, resist process control and most importantly the physical/chemical factors in the resist model. The resist model can be accurately calibrated by measuring critical dimensions (CD) of a focus-exposure matrix (FEM) and the technique has been demonstrated to be very successful in predicting lithographic performance. However, resist model calibration is more challenging in the low k1 (<0.3) regime because numerous uncertainties, such as mask and resist CD metrology errors, are becoming too large to be ignored. This study demonstrates a resist model calibration procedure for a 0.29 k1 process using a 6% halftone mask containing 2D brickwall patterns. The influence of different scanning electron microscopes (SEM) and their wafer metrology signal analysis algorithms on the accuracy of the resist model is evaluated. As an example of the metrology issue of the resist pattern, the treatment of a sidewall angle is demonstrated for the resist line ends where the contrast is relatively low. Additionally, the mask optical proximity correction (OPC) and corner rounding are considered in the calibration procedure that is based on captured SEM images. Accordingly, the average root-mean-square (RMS) error, which is the difference between simulated and experimental CDs, can be improved by considering the metrological issues. Moreover, a weighting method and a measured CD tolerance are proposed to handle the different CD variations of the various edge points of the wafer resist pattern. After the weighting method is implemented and the CD selection criteria applied, the RMS error can be further suppressed. Therefore, the resist CD and process window can be confidently evaluated using the accurately calibrated resist model. One of the examples simulates the sensitivity of the mask pattern error, which is helpful to specify the mask CD control.
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Tsann-Bim Chiou, Tsann-Bim Chiou, Chan-Ha Park, Chan-Ha Park, Jae-Seung Choi, Jae-Seung Choi, Young-Hong Min, Young-Hong Min, Steve Hansen, Steve Hansen, Shih-En Tseng, Shih-En Tseng, Alek C. Chen, Alek C. Chen, Donggyu Yim, Donggyu Yim, } "How to obtain accurate resist simulations in very low-k1 era", Proc. SPIE 6154, Optical Microlithography XIX, 61542V (20 March 2006); doi: 10.1117/12.658990; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.658990
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