20 October 2006 Impact of AFM scan artifacts on photolithographic simulation
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This work represents one in a series of ongoing papers demonstrating the potential utility of integrating advanced photolithographic simulation software into a mask repair tool to provide immediate defect or repair printability feedback. The equipment used here is an AFM-technology based nanomachining photomask repair tool where the high-accuracy AFM surface topography data is fed directly into software applying rigorous solutions to Maxwell's equations. The nature of these systems allows for process endpoint printability evaluation, not restricted by the optical limitations of any given apparatus, of any micro to nano-scale region of the mask concurrent with the normal defect repair process. However, known AFM scan artifacts can impact the accuracy and stability of the photolithographic simulation results, especially for mask or pattern types which have not been previously studied by the user. The relevant sources of these artifacts are identified and improvements in the AFM operation are discussed which could minimize them. The quantitative relationships between the various artifact measures and their corresponding effects on various simulation results (including relative transmission and CD) are examined for both AIMSTM aerial imaging and wafer print. From this examination, error baselines are established and software, as well as model setup, optimizations are proposed.
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Tod Robinson, Tod Robinson, John Lewellen, John Lewellen, David A. Lee, David A. Lee, Peter Brooker, Peter Brooker, } "Impact of AFM scan artifacts on photolithographic simulation", Proc. SPIE 6349, Photomask Technology 2006, 63491D (20 October 2006); doi: 10.1117/12.686376; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.686376

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