Immersion based 20nm technology node and below becoming very challenging to chip designers, process and integration due to multiple patterning to integrate one design layer . Negative tone development (NTD) processes have been well accepted by industry experts for enabling technologies 20 nm and below. 193i double patterning is the technology solution for pitch down to 80 nm. This imposes tight control in critical dimension(CD) variation in double patterning where design patterns are decomposed in two different masks such as in litho-etch-litho etch (LELE). CD bimodality has been widely studied in LELE double patterning. A portion of CD tolerance budget is significantly consumed by variations in CD in double patterning.
The objective of this work is to study the process variation challenges and resolution in the Negative Tone Develop Process for 20 nm and Below Technology Node. This paper describes the effect of dose slope on CD variation in negative tone develop LELE process. This effect becomes even more challenging with standalone NTD developer process due to q-time driven CD variation. We studied impact of different stacks with combination of binary and attenuated phase shift mask and estimated dose slope contribution individually from stack and mask type. Mask 3D simulation was carried out to understand theoretical aspect. In order to meet the minimum insulator requirement for the worst case on wafer the overlay and critical dimension uniformity (CDU) budget margins have slimmed. Besides the litho process and tool control using enhanced metrology feedback, the variation control has other dependencies too. Color balancing between the two masks in LELE is helpful in countering effects such as iso-dense bias, and pattern shifting. Dummy insertion and the improved decomposition techniques  using multiple lower priority constraints can help to a great extent. Innovative color aware routing techniques  can also help with achieving more uniform density and color balanced layouts.
Printing small vias with tight pitches is becoming very challenging and consequently, different techniques are explored to achieve a robust and stable process. These techniques include reverse tone imaging (RTI) process, source optimization, mask transmission (attenuated Phase Shift Masks (attnPSM) versus binary thin OMOG masks), three-dimensional mask effects models, and SRAF printing models. Simulations of NILS, MEEF, DoF and process variability (PV) band width across a wide range of patterns are used to compare these different techniques in addition to the experimental process window. The results show that the most significant benefits can be gained by using attnPSM masks in conjunction with source optimization and RTI process. However, this improvement alone is not enough; every facet of the computational lithography and process must be finely tuned to produce sufficient imaging quality. As technology continues to shrink, Electromagnetic Field (EMF)-induced errors limit the scalability of this process and we will discuss the need for advanced techniques to suppress and correct for them.