Mask distortion issues for next-generation lithography

P. L. Reu, R. L. EngelstadCorresponding Author Contact Information, E-mail The Corresponding Author and E. G. Lovell

Computational Mechanics Center, University of Wisconsin, 1513 University Ave., Madison, WI 53706, USA

Available online 14 June 2003.


Identifying mask distortion issues of next-generation lithography (NGL) technologies are critical to the timely development of a successor to optical lithography at the sub-65 nm regime. This paper presents the results of finite element (FE) simulations that characterize the distortions induced during the fabrication of an electron-beam projection lithography mask. Employing a 100-mm prototype format, both global and local image placement errors were predicted with the numerical simulations. Equivalent modeling and submodeling techniques were used to provide detailed information on the distortion of individual circuit features of an SRAM device. The FE results were subsequently verified with experiments performed at the IBM/Photronics Mask Center of Competency. The data presented illustrate the benefits of modeling and simulation for design and optimization before implementation of NGL technologies.

Author Keywords: Electron projection lithography; EPL masks; Pattern transfer distortions; Finite element analysis

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