18 March 2015 Photoresist 3D profile related etch process simulation and its application to full chip etch compact modeling
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The optical proximity correction (OPC) model and post-OPC verification that takes the developed photoresist (PR) 3D profile into account is needed in the advanced 2Xnm node. The etch process hotspots caused by poor resist profile may not be fully identified during the lithography inspection but will only be observed after the subsequent etch process. A complete mask correction that targets to final etch CD requires not only a lithography R3D profile model but also a etch process compact model. The drawback of existing etch model is to treat the etch CD bias as a function of visibility and pattern density which do not contain the information of resist profile. One important factor to affect the etch CD is the PR lateral erosion during the etch process due to non-vertical PR side wall angle (SWA) and anisotropy of etch plasma source. A simple example is in transferring patterns from PR layer to thin hard mask (HM) layer, which is frequently used in the double pattern (DPT) process. The PR lateral erosion contributes an extra HM etch CD bias which is deviated from PR CD defined by lithography process. This CD bias is found to have a nontrivial dependency on the PR profile and cannot be described by the pattern density or visibility. In this report, we study the etch CD variation to resist SWA under various etch conditions. Physical effects during etch process such as plasma ion reflection and source anisotropy, which modify the local etch rate, are taken into considerations in simulation. The virtual data are generated by Synopsys TCAD tool Sentaurus Topography 3D using Monte Carlo engine. A simple geometry compact model is applied first to explain the behavior of virtual data, however, it works to some extent but lacks accuracy when plasma ion reflection comes into play. A modified version is proposed, for the first time, by including the effects of plasma ion reflection and source anisotropy. The new compact model fits the nonlinear etch CD bias very well for a wide range of resist SWAs from 65 to 90 degrees, which covers the resist profile diversities in most real situations. This result offers a potential application for both resist profile aware and etch process aware mask correction model in the mask synthesis flow.
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Cheng-En Wu, Cheng-En Wu, Wayne Yang, Wayne Yang, Lan Luan, Lan Luan, Hua Song, Hua Song, } "Photoresist 3D profile related etch process simulation and its application to full chip etch compact modeling", Proc. SPIE 9426, Optical Microlithography XXVIII, 94261Q (18 March 2015); doi: 10.1117/12.2086048; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2086048

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