18 March 2015 Patterning process exploration of metal 1 layer in 7nm node with 3D patterning flow simulations
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Abstract
In 7mn node (N7), the logic design requires the critical poly pitch (CPP) of 42-45nm and metal 1 (M1) pitch of 28- 32nm. Such high pattern density pushes the 193 immersion lithography solution toward its limit and also brings extremely complex patterning scenarios. The N7 M1 layer may require a self-aligned quadruple patterning (SAQP) with triple litho-etch (LE3) block process. Therefore, the whole patterning process flow requires multiple exposure+etch+deposition processes and each step introduces a particular impact on the pattern profiles and the topography. In this study, we have successfully integrated a simulation tool that enables emulation of the whole patterning flow with realistic process-dependent 3D profile and topology. We use this tool to study the patterning process variations of N7 M1 layer including the overlay control, the critical dimension uniformity (CDU) budget and the lithographic process window (PW). The resulting 3D pattern structure can be used to optimize the process flow, verify design rules, extract parasitics, and most importantly, simulate the electric field and identify hot spots for dielectric reliability. As an example application, we will report extractions of maximum electric field at M1 tipto- tip which is one of the most critical patterning locations and we will demonstrate the potential of this approach for investigating the impact of process variations on dielectric reliability. We will also present simulations of an alternative M1 patterning flow, with a single exposure block using extreme ultraviolet lithography (EUVL) and analyze its advantages compared to the LE3 block approach.
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Weimin Gao, Ivan Ciofi, Yves Saad, Philippe Matagne, Michael Bachmann, Mohamed Oulmane, Werner Gillijns, Kevin Lucas, Wolfgang Demmerle, Thomas Schmoeller, "Patterning process exploration of metal 1 layer in 7nm node with 3D patterning flow simulations ", Proc. SPIE 9426, Optical Microlithography XXVIII, 942606 (18 March 2015); doi: 10.1117/12.2085328; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2085328
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