The difficulties involved in ramping EUV lithography to volume manufacturing have highlighted the critical task of understanding process, layout design and device interactions, and also of optimizing the overall product integration to reduce undesirable interactions. In this paper, we demonstrate mask synthesis methods that using rigorous EUV lithography models together with inverse lithography technology (ILT) for EUV process window and CD control improvement. To enable this new capability, we have linked the broad EUV physical effect modeling capability of our rigorous lithography simulator, Sentaurus Lithography (S-Litho), with our highly flexible production proven ILT mask synthesis solution (Proteus ILT). This new combined capability can take advantage of the wide range of EUV modeling capabilities including rigorous electromagnetic mask/substrate modeling. The advantages of using S-Litho rigorous simulation for ILT optimization is further benefited from significant speed enhancements using new high performance EUV mask 3D capabilities. ILT has been extensively used in a range of lithographic areas for DUV and EUV including logic hot-spot fixing, memory layout correction, dense memory cell optimization, assist feature (AF) optimization, source optimization, complex patterning design rules and design-technology co-optimization (DTCO). The combined optimization capability of these two technologies therefore will have a wide range of useful EUV applications. We will highlight the specific benefits of the rigorous DUV and EUV ILT functionality for several advanced applications including resist profile optimization for resist top- oss and resist descumming and process window improvement.
Despite the large difficulties involved in extending 193i multiple patterning and the slow ramp of EUV lithography to full manufacturing readiness, the pace of development for new technology node variations has been accelerating. Multiple new variations of new and existing technology nodes have been introduced for a range of device applications; each variation with at least a few new process integration methods, layout constructs and/or design rules. This had led to a strong increase in the demand for predictive technology tools which can be used to quickly guide important patterning and design co-optimization decisions. <p> </p>In this paper, we introduce a novel hybrid predictive patterning method combining two patterning technologies which have each individually been widely used for process tuning, mask correction and process-design cooptimization. These technologies are rigorous lithography simulation and inverse lithography technology (ILT). Rigorous lithography simulation has been extensively used for process development/tuning, lithography tool user setup, photoresist hot-spot detection, photoresist-etch interaction analysis, lithography-TCAD interactions/sensitivities, source optimization and basic lithography design rule exploration. ILT has been extensively used in a range of lithographic areas including logic hot-spot fixing, memory layout correction, dense memory cell optimization, assist feature (AF) optimization, source optimization, complex patterning design rules and design-technology co-optimization (DTCO). The combined optimization capability of these two technologies will therefore have a wide range of useful applications. We investigate the benefits of the new functionality for a few of these advanced applications including correction for photoresist top loss and resist scumming hotspots.
Model-based optical proximity correction (MB-OPC) has been widely applied in advanced lithography processes today. As k1 factor decreases and circuit design complexity increases, various advanced OPC modeling techniques have been employed to better simulate the lithography processes, such as mask3D (M3D), negative tone development (NTD) modeling techniques, etc. These advanced OPC modeling techniques introduce increasingly nonlinear behaviors in MB-OPC and bring many challenges in controlling edge placement error (EPE) and critical dimension (CD) while maintaining non-aggressive mask correction where possible for mask-rule check (MRC) compliance and better yield. In this paper, we review the MB-OPC challenges, and show our integration of Proteus inverse lithography technology (ILT) with MB-OPC as the solution to these challenges.