8 November 2012 Reticle and wafer CD variation for different dummy pattern
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Abstract
Dummy pattern fill is added to a layout of a reticle for the purpose of raising the pattern-density of specific regions. The pattern-density has also an influence on different process-steps which were performed when manufacturing a reticle (e.g. proximity effect of electron beam exposure process, developer, and etch-processes). Although the reticle processes are set up to compensate the influence of the pattern density, dummy pattern can have an influence onto the reticle CD. When the isolated features become “nested” by insertion of dummy pattern, the reticle CD variation is even larger because nested features exacerbate the proximity effect of an electron beam. Another reason is that the etch ratio as well as the develop dynamics during the reticle manufacturing process are slightly dependent on the local pattern-density of pattern. With different dummy pattern around the main feature, the final reticle CD will be changed. Wafer CD of main feature is also dependant on the surrounding patterns which will induce different boundary conditions for wafer exposure.

We have investigated three manufacturing sites for a 28nm first-metal layer reticle. Two of them were manufactured with a comparable process using the same advanced reticle binary blank material. For the third site a different reticle blank material with a relatively thin absorber layer thickness was used which was made with a comparable reticle process. The optical proximity correction (OPC) test patterns were designed with two different dummy patterns. The CD differences of the three reticles will be demonstrated for different dummy pattern and will be discussed individually. All three reticles have been exposed and the respective wafer critical dimension through pitch (CDTP) and linearity performance is demonstrated. Also the line-end performance for two dimensional (2D) structures is shown for the three sites of the reticle. The wafer CD difference for CDTP, linearity, and 2D structures are also discussed.
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GuoXiang Ning, Christian Buergel, Paul Ackmann, Marc Staples, Thomas Thamm, Chin Teong Lim, Andre Leschok, Stefan Roling, Anthony Zhou, Fang Hong Gn, Frank Richter, "Reticle and wafer CD variation for different dummy pattern", Proc. SPIE 8522, Photomask Technology 2012, 85222J (8 November 2012); doi: 10.1117/12.964375; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.964375
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