Computational lithography solutions rely upon accurate process models to faithfully represent the imaging system output for a defined set of process and design inputs. These models rely upon the accurate representation of multiple parameters associated with the scanner and the photomask. Many input variables
for simulation are based upon designed or recipe-requested values or independent measurements. It is known, however, that certain measurement methodologies, while precise, can have significant inaccuracies. Additionally, there are known errors associated with the representation of certain system parameters. With shrinking total CD control budgets, appropriate accounting for all sources of error becomes more important, and the cumulative consequence of input errors to the computational lithography model can
become significant. In this work, we examine via simulation, the impact of errors in the representation of
photomask properties including CD bias, corner rounding, refractive index, thickness, and sidewall angle. The factors that are most critical to be accurately represented in the model are cataloged. CD bias values are based on state of the art mask manufacturing data and other variables changes are speculated, highlighting the need for improved metrology and communication between mask and OPC model experts. The simulations are done by ignoring the wafer photoresist model, and show the sensitivity of predictions to various model inputs associated with the mask. It is shown that the wafer simulations are very dependent upon the 1D/2D representation of the mask and for 3D, that the mask sidewall angle is a very sensitive factor influencing simulated wafer CD results.