2 December 2013 Impact of 14-nm photomask uncertainties on computational lithography solutions
Author Affiliations +
J. of Micro/Nanolithography, MEMS, and MOEMS, 13(1), 011004 (2013). doi:10.1117/1.JMM.13.1.011004
Computational lithography solutions rely upon accurate process models to faithfully represent the imaging system output for a defined set of process and design inputs. These models rely upon the accurate representation of multiple parameters associated with the scanner and the photomask. Many input variables for simulation are based upon designed or recipe-requested values or independent measurements. It is known, however, that certain measurement methodologies, while precise, can have significant inaccuracies. Additionally, there are known errors associated with the representation of certain system parameters. With shrinking total critical dimension (CD) control budgets, appropriate accounting for all sources of error becomes more important, and the cumulative consequence of input errors to the computational lithography model can become significant. In this work, we examine via simulation the impact of errors in the representation of photomask properties including CD bias, corner rounding, refractive index, thickness, and sidewall angle. The factors that are most critical to be accurately represented in the model are cataloged. CD bias values are based on state-of-the-art mask manufacturing data, and other variable changes are speculated, highlighting the need for improved metrology and communication between mask and optical proxmity correction model experts. The simulations are done by ignoring the wafer photoresist model and show the sensitivity of predictions to various model inputs associated with the mask. It is shown that the wafer simulations are very dependent upon the one-dimensional/two-dimensional representation of the mask, and for three-dimensional, the mask sidewall angle is a very sensitive factor influencing simulated wafer CD results.
© 2014 Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE)
John Sturtevant, Edita Tejnil, Timothy Lin, Steffen F. Schulze, Peter D. Buck, Franklin Kalk, Kent H. Nakagawa, GuoXiang Ning, Paul W. Ackmann, Fritz Gans, Christian Buergel, "Impact of 14-nm photomask uncertainties on computational lithography solutions," Journal of Micro/Nanolithography, MEMS, and MOEMS 13(1), 011004 (2 December 2013). https://doi.org/10.1117/1.JMM.13.1.011004


Semiconducting wafers

3D modeling

Optical proximity correction

Critical dimension metrology


Photoresist materials


14-nm photomask simulation sensitivity
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