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1 April 2009 Simulation of optical lithography in the presence of topography and spin-coated films
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Experimental results on etched silicon wafers show that after two consecutive spin-coat processes the upper material surface achieves near planar flatness. This was observed for three separate dual layer BARC systems and the case of photoresist over a single layer BARC. The wafer topography step height (60 nm) and the thicknesses of the organic films (20 nm - 100 nm) were typical for state-of-the-art IC manufacturing lithography processes. A lithographic proximity effect driven by wafer topography pitch was experimentally observed for a single layer BARC system. The response was reproduced with good quantitative accuracy using rigorous wafer plane EMF simulations incorporating ideal etched wafer topography, a planarizing resist film and a simple spin-coat approximation of the BARC coverage, as observed by x-section SEM. In contrast, simulations assuming the limiting cases of a perfectly conformal BARC and a perfectly planarizing BARC failed to predict any meaningful proximity effect.
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Stewart A. Robertson, Michael T. Reilly, Trey Graves, John J. Biafore, Mark D. Smith, Damien Perret, Vladimir Ivin, Sergey Potashov, Mikhail Silakov, and Nikolay Elistratov "Simulation of optical lithography in the presence of topography and spin-coated films", Proc. SPIE 7273, Advances in Resist Materials and Processing Technology XXVI, 727340 (1 April 2009);

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