This paper reports the water-leakage mechanism of the immersion hood in an immersion scanner. The proposed static
analysis reveals the immersion hood design performance in defect distribution. A dynamic water-leakage model traces
the leaked water and identifies its position on the wafer, during exposure. Comparing simulation to experimental results
on bare-silicon and resist-coated wafers, the defect type, source of residuals, and critical settings on the immersion
system were clearly identified.
193-nm immersion lithography is the only choice for the 45-nm logical node at 120-nm half pitch and extendable to 32-
and 22-nm nodes. The defect problem is one of the critical issues in immersion technology. In this paper, we provided a
methodology to trace the defect source from optical microscope images to its SEM counterparts after exposure. An
optimized exposure routing was also proposed to reduce printing defects. The average defect count was reduced from
19.7 to 4.8 ea/wafer.
This letter reports record-breaking low defect counts for immersion lithography, the mechanism for formation of particle-printing defects, and for two new exposure routings to achieve the low defect counts. Both new routings make the slot-scan directions parallel to the field-stepping directions, whereas in the normal routing the two directions are perpendicular to each other. From experimental data, the average defect count for one of the special routings is 4.8 per wafer, while it is 19.7 per wafer for normal routing.
We propose a useful methodology, called phase-defocus (P-D) window, to express the mutual dependence of Alt-PSM mask structure and the wafer process window of the pattern-position shift caused by phase error and intensity imbalance. The P-D window was predicted and optimized with a 2-D mask with effective phase and transmission by simulations. We further used rigorous E-M field simulations to correlate the 3-D mask structure to those optimized conditions. Moreover, experiments were performed with four kinds of mask structures and the best Alt-PSM structure was obtained and used to suggest the mask fabrication performance based on P-D window analysis. In order to understand the influence of mask fabrication on patterns with various densities, the common P-D window is proposed. Using the P-D window, the optimized condition was achieved with a maximum process margin for the mask and wafer. In addition, the P-D window is used to quantify the scattering effect coming from the topographical mask and determine the effective 180° for the iso-focal condition.
A simple graphic analysis technique named the illumination chart method is introduced to aid the customization of the illumination aperture filter for synergistic combination with a high transmission rim-type attenuated phase-shifting mask (PSM) for deep submicron contact hole printing. This graphic method gives direct visualization of the relationship between the interference condition in the pupil and the incident angle of illumination. The working ranges of oblique illuminations with different numbers of diffraction beams taking part in imaging can be easily clarified by this graphic method, which explains the dependence of depth of focus (DOF) on pattern duty. A customized illumination aperture filter (CIF) is synthesized by collecting the effective source elements for every pattern pitch to remedy the inability of the attenuated PSM for dense patterns. To preserve the merits of off-axis illumination to dense patterns and on-axis illuminations to sparse patterns in a single exposure, the illumination chart suggests a zeroth-order-reduction mask design for dense hole pattern. We applied this integrated resolution enhancement technique to 0.17 μm contact hole printing in 248 nm wavelength, 0.55 numerical aperture optics. The experimental results show our CIF illumination not only balances the DOF enhancement throughout the pattern pitches but also suppresses the best focus shift due to spherical aberration.
Several super resolution techniques, such as phase-shifting mask (PSM) and off-axis illumination (OAI), have been reported to extend the resolution limit and increase the depth-of-focus (DOF) of optical lithography. However, these techniques provide less immunity to spherical aberration than the conventional approaches like chrome binary mask and low coherent illumination. Best focus position shift is the most well known anomalous phenomenon resulted from spherical aberration. In this paper, the origin of best focus shift is explained in pictorial and analytical forms. The phenomenon is evaluated by observing the exposure-defocus windows of sub-0.2micrometers hole patterns from an 18% transmission rim-type attenuated PSM combined with several types of illumination. Under high coherent illumination, severe focus shift was observed in sparse patterns as strong phase-shifting effect is applied. For dense hole patterns, OAI results in abrupt focus position variation at specific pattern pitch. The experimental results show that spherical aberration would induce best focus shift, distortion of process windows, loss of DOF, and shrinkage of iso/dense process window overlap. Two approaches were proposed to suppress the impact of spherical aberration. One is introducing proper amount of phase bias in attenuated PSM to adjust the wave aberration in the lens. The other more feasible method is using a customized illumination. A synthesized illumination aperture was proposed to compensate the focus shift. Excellent lithographic performance was obtained in the experiment from this method.
High NA illumination system and off-axis illumination (OAI) have been shown as two of the most practical resolution enhancement techniques (RET) available for micro-lithography. However, these two illumination approaches may reduce the DOF of iso-patterns. To overcome this problem, scattering bar (SB) assignment has been wildly used. In this paper, the discussions are focused on SB variables of iso-features. The most important variable of SB usage is where is the suitable assignment position. A simply efficient rule has been found to easily catch the optimal position of SB assignment. For OAI illumination, the optimal SB position is exactly the same with the defocus side-lobe position of iso-line. The effect of the secondary pair of SB is also discussed in this paper, and it is found that if the secondary SB pair was not at the optimal position, the process window would be reduced. Another major topic in this paper is the specification of SB width. Here we design a test pattern to target the specification of SB width. The experimental results might give us a clear specification of SB width.
A great deal of progress has been made in the design of dual damascene process, including via first, trench first, and self-aligned. For overlay, via-first process provides the largest process tolerance to misalignment. However, the positive tone resist face to some difficulties in dual damascene via first approach of photo process, because the 0.18micrometers positive tone trench resist can not be exposed and removed in the 0.20micrometers via hole, observed residues from the SEM cross section profiles after development. In contrast, the negative tone resist show s great advantage in the via first process and producing desired patterns without resist residues in the via hole. In this paper, the design of dual damascene photo process using commercial N702Y (JSR) negative tone resist on DUV43 (Brewer Sc.) Bottom anti reflective coating is evaluated. To improve the depth of focus (DOF) of negative tone resist process, the different resolution enhancement techniques (RET) are investigated fro dense and isolated trench patterns: off-axis illumination (annular ½), attenuated phase shift mask (halftone 6%) with 248nm (NA 0.55) exposure technology, and experimental results regarding to its process performance are presented.
A completely new concept for designing the illumination aperture filter is suggested. From experimental or simulative methods, we have extracted the performance of every individual beam component on the illumination plane. The optimal apertures are then obtained by superimposing the best components that meet the requirements demanded by the specific photo process. Different kinds of optimal apertures were successfully implanted to deal with different process problems. Therefore, it is called the customized illumination aperture filter (CIF). The zero 1D OPE CIF, as a proof of concept, was designed to eliminate the OPE of low k1 process. Without any OPC, 0.6micrometers DOF of the common ED window was obtained, where k1 equals 0.39 for our NA equals 0.55 stepper to print. 0.18 micrometers line patterns, T push to smaller k1, another CIF was designed to maximize the individual DOF and overcome the reduced power problem accompanied with the typical aggressive OAI. Using this CIF, we achieved 1.1 micrometers common DOF with 7 percent EL for 0.18 micrometers lien patterns. The CIF doubles the power of the Nikon's strong quadrupole, shrine. An ultimate resolution limit of 0.11 micrometers line pattern was reached as well with the CIF. Finally, a contact/via CIF was designed combined with a halt-tone PSM. The CIF gives about 0.8 micrometers common DOF with 7 percent EL for 0.2 micrometers holes and 0.7 micrometers DOF for 0.17 holes using thinner resist. The CIF approach is, therefore, proven to be a cost effective and relatively easy realizable alternative to the alternating PSM for extremely low k1 process applications.