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31 March 2014 Improving 3D resist profile compact modeling by exploiting 3D resist physical mechanisms
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3D Resist profile aware OPC has becoming increasingly important to address hot spots generated at etch processes due to the mass occurrence of non-ideal resist profile in 28nm technology node and beyond. It is therefore critical to build compact models capable of 3D simulation for OPC applications. A straightforward and simple approach is to build individual 2D models at different image depths either based on actual wafer measurement data or virtual simulation data from rigorous lithography simulators. Individual models at interested heights can be used by downstream OPC/LRC tools to account for 3D resist profile effects. However, the relevant image depths need be predetermined due to the discontinuous nature of the methodology itself. Furthermore, the physical commonality among the individual 2D models may deviate from each other as well during the separate calibration processes. To overcome the drawbacks, efforts are made in this paper to compute the whole bulk image using Hopkins equation in one shot. The bulk image is then used to build 3D resist models. This approach also opens the feasibility of including resist interface effects (for example, top or bottom out-diffusion), which are important to resist profile formation, into a compact 3D resist model. The interface effects calculations are merged into the bulk image Hopkins equation. Simulation experiments are conducted to demonstrate that resist profile heavily rely on interface conditions. Our experimental results show that those interface effects can be accurately simulated with reference to rigorous simulation results. In modeling reality, such a 3D resist model can be calibrated with data from discrete image planes but can be used at arbitrary interpolated planes. One obvious advantage of this 3D resist model approach is that the 3D model is more physically represented by a common set of resist parameters (in contrast to the individual model approach) for 3D resist profile simulation. A full model calibration test is conducted on a virtual lithography process. It is demonstrated that 3D resist profile of the process can be precisely captured by this method. It is shown that the resist model can be carried to a different lithography process with same resist setup but a different illumination source without model any accuracy degradation. In an additional test, the model is used to demonstrate the capability of resist 3D profile correction by ILT.
© (2014) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Yongfa Fan, Cheng-En Rich Wu, Qian Ren, Hua Song, and Thomas Schmoeller "Improving 3D resist profile compact modeling by exploiting 3D resist physical mechanisms", Proc. SPIE 9052, Optical Microlithography XXVII, 90520X (31 March 2014);


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