Calibration of mask images on wafer becomes more important as features shrink. Two major types of metrology have
been commonly adopted. One is to measure the mask image with scanning electron microscope (SEM) to obtain the
contours on mask and then simulate the wafer image with optical simulator. The other is to use an optical imaging tool
Aerial Image Measurement System (AIMSTM) to emulate the image on wafer. However, the SEM method is indirect. It
just gathers planar contours on a mask with no consideration of optical characteristics such as 3D topography structures.
Hence, the image on wafer is not predicted precisely. Though the AIMSTM method can be used to directly measure the
intensity at the near field of a mask but the image measured this way is not quite the same as that on the wafer due to
reflections and refractions in the films on wafer.
Here, a new approach is proposed to emulate the image on wafer more precisely. The behavior of plane waves with
different oblique angles is well known inside and between planar film stacks. In an optical microscope imaging system,
plane waves can be extracted from the pupil plane with a coherent point source of illumination. Once plane waves with a
specific coherent illumination are analyzed, the partially coherent component of waves could be reconstructed with a
proper transfer function, which includes lens aberration, polarization, reflection and refraction in films. It is a new
method that we can transfer near light field of a mask into an image on wafer without the disadvantages of indirect SEM
measurement such as neglecting effects of mask topography, reflections and refractions in the wafer film stacks.
Furthermore, with this precise latent image, a separated resist model also becomes more achievable.