SPIE Advanced Lithography 2016
Conference paper

Lithographic qualification of high-Transmission mask blank for 10nm node and beyond

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In this paper, we discuss the lithographic qualification of high transmission (High T) mask for Via and contact hole applications in 10nm node and beyond. First, the simulated MEEF and depth of focus (DoF) data are compared between the 6% and High T attnPSM masks with the transmission of High T mask blank varying from 12% to 20%. The 12% High T blank shows significantly better MEEF and larger DoF than those of 6% attnPSM mask blank, which are consistent with our wafer data. However, the simulations show no obvious advantage in MEEF and DoF when the blank transmittance is larger than 12%. From our wafer data, it has been seen that the common process window from High T mask is 40nm bigger than that from the 6% attnPSM mask. In the elongated bar structure with smaller aspect ratio, 1.26, the 12% High T mask shows significantly less develop CD pull back in the major direction. Compared to the High T mask, the optimized new illumination condition for 6% attnPSM shows limited improvement in MEEF and the DoF through pitch. In addition, by using the High T mask blank, we have also investigated the SRAF printing, side lobe printing and the resist profile through cross sections, and no patterning risk has been found for manufacturing. As part of this work new 12% High T mask blank materials and processes were developed, and a brief overview of key mask technology development results have been shared. Overall, it is concluded that the High T mask, 12% transmission, provides the most robust and extendable lithographic solution for 10nm node and beyond.