1 October 2005 New stochastic post-exposure bake simulation method
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A new method for simulating the post-exposure bake (PEB) of optical lithography is presented and applied to modeling the reaction-diffusion processes in a chemically amplified resist (CAR). The new approach is based on a mesoscopic description of the photoresist, taking into account the discrete nature of resist molecules and inhibitor groups that are attached to the resist polymers, but neglecting molecular details on an atomistic (microscopic) level. As a result, the time- and space-dependent statistical fluctuations of resist particle numbers, the correlations among them, and their effect on the printing result can be accounted for. The less molecules that are present in the volume of interest, the more important these fluctuations and correlations will become. This is the case for more and more shrinking critical dimensions (CD) of the lithographic structures but unchanged molecular sizes of the relevant resist species. In particular, the new PEB simulation method allows us to predict the behavior of statistical defects of the printed lithographic structures, which may strongly contribute to printing features like line edge roughness (LER).
Thomas Mülders, Wolfgang Henke, Klaus Elian, Christoph Nölscher, Michael Sebald, "New stochastic post-exposure bake simulation method," Journal of Micro/Nanolithography, MEMS, and MOEMS 4(4), 043010 (1 October 2005). https://doi.org/10.1117/1.2136867


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