26 March 2015 Characterizing the dependence of thick-mask edge effects on illumination angle using AIMS images
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Abstract
Mask topography contributes diffraction-induced phase near edges, affecting the through-focus intensity variation and hence the process window at the wafer. We analyze the impact of edge diffraction on projection printing directly with experiments on an aerial image measurement system (AIMS). We show here that topographic effects change with illumination angle and can be quantified using through-focus intensity measurements. Off- axis incidence influences not just defocus image behavior (as for normal incidence), but also the at-focus intensity at wafer. Moreover, with oblique illumination, mask diffraction varies for left-facing and right-facing sidewalls, the nature of the asymmetry being polarization dependent. The image degradation due the polarization parallel to the sidewall (TE) is seen to be stronger, owing to the interplay of mask topography and pupil filtering in the imaging system. This translates to a CD variation of 2% between the two polarizations, even at focus. A simple thin-mask boundary layer model that treats each sidewall independently is shown to be able to approximate mask topography induced diffraction for both polarizations with 5-10nm wide boundary layers.
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Aamod Shanker, Martin Sczyrba, Falk Lange, Brid Connolly, Andrew R. Neureuther, Laura Waller, "Characterizing the dependence of thick-mask edge effects on illumination angle using AIMS images", Proc. SPIE 9426, Optical Microlithography XXVIII, 94260O (26 March 2015); doi: 10.1117/12.2087615; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2087615
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