In integrated circuit and memory devices, size shrinkage has been the most effective method to reduce production cost and enable the steady increment of the number of transistors per unit area over the past few decades. In order to reduce the die size and feature size, it is necessary to minimize pattern formation in the advance node development. In the node of sub-10nm, extreme ultra violet lithography (EUV) and multi-patterning solutions based on 193nm immersionlithography are the two most common options to achieve the size requirement. In such small features of line and space pattern, line width roughness (LWR) and line edge roughness (LER) contribute significant amount of process variation that impacts both physical and electrical performances.
In this paper, we focus on optimizing the line roughness performance by using wafer stress engineering on 30nm pitch line and space pattern. This pattern is generated by a self-aligned quadruple patterning (SAQP) technique for the potential application of fin formation. Our investigation starts by comparing film materials and stress levels in various processing steps and material selection on SAQP integration scheme. From the cross-matrix comparison, we are able to determine the best stack of film selection and stress combination in order to achieve the lowest line roughness performance while obtaining pattern validity after fin etch. This stack is also used to study the step-by-step line roughness performance from SAQP to fin etch. Finally, we will show a successful patterning of 30nm pitch line and space pattern SAQP scheme with 1nm line roughness performance.