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We report on the observation of mask transmission resonances in line/space gratings on bilayer mask stacks, both experimentally and in rigorous electromagnetic field (EMF) lithographic simulations. The mask transmission resonances manifest themselves as a local enhancement in the dose-to-size curve through mask linewidth for a given pitch targeted to a fixed wafer CD. We relate this finding to a local transmission loss of the propagating diffraction orders. We investigate both by experiments and by simulations the dependency of this mask transmission resonance on various lithographic conditions such as mask material, grating pitch, and incidence angle and polarization state of the incoming light. The resonant-type anomaly has a large impact on the mask error enhancement factor (MEEF) behavior of these bilayer mask stacks. The dependence of the MEEF as a function of mask linewidth shows strong variations and even negative MEEF values around the position of this resonance, which stem from the local dose-to-size enhancement. More precisely, the behavior of the MEEF can be well predicted by the differential of the dose-to-size curve.
Peter De Bisschop,
"Observation of negative mask error enhancement factor due to mask transmission resonance," Journal of Micro/Nanolithography, MEMS, and MOEMS 7(2), 020501 (1 April 2008). http://dx.doi.org/10.1117/1.2938993