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13 October 2011 More than monitoring: advanced lithographic process tuning
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Critical dimensions (CD) measured in resist are key to understanding the CD distribution on photomasks. Vital to this understanding is the separation of spatially random and systematic contributions to the CD distribution. Random contributions will not appear in post etch CD measurements (final) whereas systematic contributions will strongly impact final CDs. Resist CD signatures and their variations drive final CD distributions, thus an understanding of the mechanisms influencing the resist CD signature and its variation play a pivotal role in CD distribution improvements. Current technological demands require strict control of reticle critical dimension uniformity (CDU) and the Advanced Mask Technology Center (AMTC) has found significant reductions in reticle CDU are enabled through the statistical analysis of large data sets. To this end, we employ Principle Component Analysis (PCA) - a methodology well established at the AMTC1- to show how different portions of the lithographic process contribute to CD variations. These portions include photomask blank preparation as well as a correction parameter in the front end process. CD variations were markedly changed by modulating these two lithographic portions, leading to improved final CDU on test reticles in two different chemically amplified resist (CAR) processes.
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G. R. Cantrell, Jo Alvin Dumaya, Christian Bürgel, Axel Feicke, Martin Häcker, and Clemens Utzny "More than monitoring: advanced lithographic process tuning", Proc. SPIE 8166, Photomask Technology 2011, 81660M (13 October 2011);

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