Markets continuously demand higher resolution and higher productivity in flat panel display (FPD) exposure systems. Our solution to improve resolution and productivity is the use of broadband wavelength illumination. A larger depth of focus (DOF) is also very important to achieve higher productivity because inadequate DOF can cause product defects. To obtain higher resolution and larger DOF, off axis illumination (OAI) conditions have been widely used. OAIs using a narrowband wavelength illumination are well documented and sufficiently studied. On the other hand, Canon FPD exposure tools use a broadband illumination source to achieve higher resolution and productivity. To obtain sufficient OAI effects in broadband exposure lithography, new technology should be developed with consideration of broadband wavelength because OAI effects are different between broadband and narrowband illumination. In this paper we introduce divided spectrum illumination (DSI), a new design concept proposed to achieve both high resolution and large DOF by optimizing the broadband illumination source wavelength band depending on the illumination angle. Experimental imaging results of line and space patterns with a line width of 1.0-μm and pitch of 2.0-μm showed that the DSI design improved resolution. Results showed that test patterns imaged using traditional narrowband OAI could not be resolved at the top of the resist even at the best focus, however resist profiles using DSI were sharp enough to retain pattern fidelity at the top of resist. DOF with DSI also improved 21 % compared to traditional OAI.
The extendibility of 2D-TCC technique to an isolated line of 45 nm width is investigated in this paper. The 2D-TCC
technique optimizes mask patterns placing assist pattern automatically. For 45 nm line patterns, the assist pattern width
generally becomes much smaller than the exposure wavelength of 193 nm. Thus, the impact of the topography of a mask
is examined using an electro-magnetic field (EMF) simulation. This simulation indicates that unwanted assist pattern
printings are brought about by assist patterns with a smaller size than expected by the Kirchhoff's approximation. The
difference, however, can be easily solved by giving a bias to the main pattern in the optimized mask. The main pattern
bias decreases DOF very little. Furthermore, DOF simulated with a thick mask model is roughly the same as that
simulated with a thin mask model. Therefore the topography of the optimized mask does not have an influence on the
assist pattern position of the optimized mask. From these results, we have confirmed that the 2D-TCC technique can be
extended to the optimization of 45 nm line patterns. As one of the notable features, the optimized aperiodic assist pattern
greatly reduces MEEF compared with the conventional periodic assist pattern. To verify the feasibility of the 2D-TCC
technique for 45 nm line, we performed experiment with an optimized mask. Experimental results showed that DOF
increased with the number of assist pattern as simulation indicated. In addition, a defect whose length was twice that of
the assist pattern did not have an influence on CD. From these results we have confirmed that the 2D-TCC technique can
enhance the resolution of 45 nm line and has practical feasibility.
In this paper, a new resolution enhancement technique named 2D-TCC technique is proposed. This method can
enhance resolution of line patterns as well as that of contact hole patterns by the use of an approximate aerial image.
The aerial image, which is obtained by 2D-TCC calculation, expresses the degree of coherence at the image plane of a
projection optic considering mask transmission at the object plane. OPC of desired patterns and placement of assist
patterns can be simultaneously performed according to an approximate aerial image called a 2D-TCC map. Fast
calculation due to truncation of a series in calculating an aerial image is another advantage. Results of mask
optimization for various line patterns and the validity of the 2D-TCC technique by simulations and experiments are
A newly developed sub-resolution assist feature (SRAF) placement technique with two-dimensional
transmission cross coefficient (2D-TCC) is described in this paper. In SRAF placement with 2D-TCC, Hopkins'
aerial image equation with four-dimensional TCC is decomposed into the sum of Fourier transforms of diffracted
light weighted by 2D-TCC, introducing an approximated aerial image so as to place SRAFs into a given reticle
layout. SRAFs are placed at peak positions of the approximated aerial image for enhanced resolution. Since the
approximated aerial image can handle the full optical model, SRAFs can be automatically optimized to the given
optical condition to generate the optimized reticle. The validity of this technique was confirmed by experiment
using a Canon FPA6000-ES6a, 248 nm with a numerical aperture (NA) of 0.86. A binary reticle optimized by this
technique with mild off-axis illumination was used in the experiment. Both isolated and dense 100 nm contacts (k1
= 0.35) were simultaneously resolved with the aid of this technique.