18 March 2016 Assist features: placement, impact, and relevance for EUV imaging
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Abstract
Assist features are commonly used in DUV lithography to improve the lithographic process window of isolated features under illumination conditions that enable the printability of dense features. With the introduction of EUV lithography, the interaction between 13.5 nm light and the mask features generates strong mask 3D effects. On wafer, the mask 3D effects manifest as pitch-dependent best focus positions, pattern asymmetries and image contrast loss. To minimize the mask 3D effects, and enhance the lithographic process window, we explore by means of wafer print evaluation the use of assist features with different sizes and placements. The assist features are placed next to isolated features and two bar structures, consistent with theN5 (imec iN7) node dimensions for 0.33NA and we use different types of off-axis illumination . For the generic iN7 structures, wafer imaging will be compared to simulation results and an assessment of optimal assist feature configuration will be made. It is also essential to understand the potential benefit of using assist features and to weigh that benefit against the price of complexity associated with adding sub-resolution features on a production mask. To that end, we include an OPC study that compares a layout treated with assist features, to one without assist features, using full-chip complexity metrics like data size.
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Iacopo Mochi, Iacopo Mochi, Vicky Philipsen, Vicky Philipsen, Emily Gallagher, Emily Gallagher, Eric Hendrickx, Eric Hendrickx, Kateryna Lyakhova, Kateryna Lyakhova, Friso Wittebrood, Friso Wittebrood, Guido Schiffelers, Guido Schiffelers, Timon Fliervoet, Timon Fliervoet, Shibing Wang, Shibing Wang, Stephen Hsu, Stephen Hsu, Vince Plachecki, Vince Plachecki, Stan Baron, Stan Baron, Bart Laenens, Bart Laenens, } "Assist features: placement, impact, and relevance for EUV imaging", Proc. SPIE 9776, Extreme Ultraviolet (EUV) Lithography VII, 97761S (18 March 2016); doi: 10.1117/12.2220025; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2220025
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