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15 March 2016 Inverse polarizer on immersion lithography mask
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The inverse polarizing effect of Sub-Wavelength Metallic Gratings (SWMGs) is employed to improve the lithography performance by controlling the polarization. The SWMGs are intentionally created on the top surface of mask. Its polarization selectivity is deliberately designed according to the bottom mask patterns. A series of simulations and optimizations on SWMG structures were done in order to achieve better image quality. We demonstrate that the contrast of aerial image can be improved by designing the inverse polarizer on mask (iPOM) for some specific layout patterns. We also reveal that the double diffraction inevitably occurring in-between the iPOM and layout pattern may damage the image quality in most situations. This leads to narrow usage of iPOM. An alternative to overcome the double diffraction is proposed by optimizing the refractive index and thickness of layout absorber to make the polarization selection feasible without iPOM.
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Minfeng Chen, Shuo-Yen Chou, Chun-Kuang Chen, Ru-Gun Liu, and Tsai-Sheng Gau "Inverse polarizer on immersion lithography mask", Proc. SPIE 9780, Optical Microlithography XXIX, 97801R (15 March 2016);

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