SPIE Advanced Lithography 2014
Conference paper

Clear sub-resolution assist features for EUV

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In EUV lithography, the short wavelength of the light makes the topography of the mask stand out as three dimensional objects rather than thin masks. This generally requires use of a rigorous scattering simulator to calculate the diffracted orders of a mask in order to explain experimental results. In contrast, for optical proximity correction we cannot afford such detailed calculations and we would like to replace such detailed simulations with faster methods that give similar results. In this paper, we discuss observations we made during our printing experiments on a 0.33 NA EUV projection system. In order to extend the process window for non-nested trenches we introduced clear assist features. We observed strong tilt of Bossung curves and best focus shifts for certain pitches. These shifts can be explained by a phase difference between main and assist feature. This effect is very similar for both horizontal and vertical trenches, and it depends strongly on the illumination of the mask. We find that the best focus shift can be minimized for certain assist pitches and illumination conditions, but a general solution for random pitches appears not obvious. © 2014 SPIE.