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16 March 2009 Resist development modeling for OPC accuracy improvement
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A precise lithographic model has always been a critical component for the technique of Optical Proximity Correction (OPC) since it was introduced a decade ago [1]. As semiconductor manufacturing moves to 32nm and 22nm technology nodes with 193nm wafer immersion lithography, the demand for more accurate models is unprecedented to predict complex imaging phenomena at high numerical aperture (NA) with aggressive illumination conditions necessary for these nodes. An OPC model may comprise all the physical processing components from mask e-beam writing steps to final CDSEM measurement of the feature dimensions. In order to provide a precise model, it is desired that every component involved in the processing physics be accurately modeled using minimum metrology data. In the past years, much attention has been paid to studying mask 3-D effects, mask writing limitations, laser spectrum profile, lens pupil polarization/apodization, source shape characterization, stage vibration, and so on. However, relatively fewer studies have been devoted to modeling of the development process of resist film though it is an essential processing step that cannot be neglected. Instead, threshold models are commonly used to approximate resist development behavior. While resist models capable of simulating development path are widely used in many commercial lithography simulators, the lack of this component in current OPC modeling lies in the fact that direct adoption of those development models into OPC modeling compromises its capability of full chip simulation. In this work, we have successfully incorporated a photoresist development model into production OPC modeling software without sacrificing its full chip capability. The resist film development behavior is simulated in the model to incorporate observed complex resist phenomena such as surface inhibition, developer mass transport, HMDS poisoning, development contrast, etc. The necessary parameters are calibrated using metrology data in the same way that current model calibration is done. The method is validated with a rigorous lithography process simulation tool which is based on physical models to simulate and predict effects during the resist PEB and development process. Furthermore, an experimental lithographic process was modeled using this new methodology, showing significant improvement in modeling accuracy in compassion to a traditional model. Layout correction test has shown that the new model form is equivalent to traditional model forms in terms of correction convergence and speed.
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Yongfa Fan, Lena Zavyalova, Yunqiang Zhang, Charlie Zhang, Kevin Lucas, Brad Falch, Ebo Croffie, Jianliang Li, Lawrence Melvin, and Brian Ward "Resist development modeling for OPC accuracy improvement", Proc. SPIE 7274, Optical Microlithography XXII, 727418 (16 March 2009);

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