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13 October 2011 High resolution mask process and substrate for 20nm and early 14nm node lithography
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The lithography challenges posed by the 20 nm and 14 nm nodes continue to place strict minimum feature size requirements on photomasks. The wide spread adoption of very aggressive Optical Proximity Correction (OPC) and computational lithography techniques that are needed to maximize the lithographic process window at 20 nm and 14 nm groundrules has increased the need for sub-resolution assist features (SRAFs) down to 50 nm on the mask. In addition, the recent industry trend of migrating to use of negative tone develop and other tone inversion techniques on wafer in order to use bright field masks with better lithography process window is requiring mask makers to reduce the minimum feature size of opaque features on the reticle such as opaque SRAFs. Due to e-beam write time and pattern fidelity requirements, the increased use of bright field masks means that mask makers must focus on improving the resolution of their negative tone chemically amplified resist (NCAR) process. In this paper we will describe the development and characterization of a high resolution bright field mask process that is suitable for meeting 20 nm and early 14 nm optical lithography requirements. Work to develop and optimize use of an improved chrome hard mask material on the thin OMOG binary mask blank1 in order to resolve smaller feature sizes on the mask will be described. The improved dry etching characteristics of the new chrome hard mask material enabled the use of a very thin (down to 65 nm) NCAR resist. A comparison of the minimum feature size, linearity, and through pitch performance of different NCAR resist thicknesses will also be described. It was found that the combination of the improved mask blank and thinner NCAR could allow achievement of 50 nm opaque SRAFs on the final mask.. In addition, comparisons of the minimum feature size performance of different NCAR resist materials will be shown. A description of the optimized cleaning processes and cleaning durability of the 50 nm opaque SRAFs will be provided. Furthermore, the defect inspection results of the new high resolution mask process and substrate will be shared.
© (2011) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Tom Faure, Satoshi Akutagawa, Karen Badger, Louis Kindt, Jun Kotani, Takashi Mizoguchi, Satoru Nemoto, Kazunori Seki, Tasuku Senna, Richard Wistrom, Shinich Igarashi, Yukio Inazuki, Kazuhiro Nishikawa, and Hiroki Yoshikawa "High resolution mask process and substrate for 20nm and early 14nm node lithography", Proc. SPIE 8166, Photomask Technology 2011, 816617 (13 October 2011);

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