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Novel Contact Hole Reticle Design for Enhanced Lithography Process

Window in IC Manufacturing
Chung-Hsing Chang
Remarkable Ltd.
7, Dai Shun St., Tai Po Industrial Estate Ctr., Tai Po, N.T., Hong Kong
ABSTRACT
For 90nm node generation, 65nm, and beyond, dark field mask types such as contact-hole, via, and trench patterns that all are very
challenging to print with satisfactory process windows for day-to-day lithography manufacturing. Resolution enhancement
technology (RET) masks together with ArF high numerical aperture (NA) scanners have been recognized as the inevitable choice of
method for 65nm node manufacturing. Among RET mask types, the alternating phase shifting mask (AltPSM) is one of the well-
known strong enhancement techniques. However, AltPSM can have a very strong optical proximity effect that comes with the use of
small on-axis illumination sigma setting. For very dense contact features, it may be possible for AltPSM to overcome the phase
conflict by limiting the mask design rules. But it is not feasible to resolve the inherent phase conflict for the semi-dense, semi-isolated
and isolated contact areas. Hence the adoption of this strong enhancement technique for dark filed mask types in todays IC
manufacturing has been very limited. In this paper, we present a novel yet a very powerful design method to achieve contact and via
masks printing for 90nm, 65nm, and beyond. We name our new mask design as: Novel Improved Contact-hole pattern Exposure
PSM (NICE PSM) with off-axis illumination, such as QUASAR. This RET masks design can enhance the process window of
isolated, semi-isolated contact hole and via hole patterns. The main concepts of NICE PSM with QUASAR off-axis illumination are
analogous to the Super-FLEX pupil filter technology.
Key Words: RET (Resolution Enhancement Technology), NICE PSM (Novel Improved Contact-hole pattern Exposure) PSM,
Contact Mask, Alternating PSM, Alt-PSM, Attenuated PSM, AttPSM, off-axis illumination, OAI, QUASAR
1. INTRODUCTION
For 90nm node generation, 65nm, and beyond, dark field mask types such as contact-hole and trench patterns that all are very
challenging to print with satisfactory process windows for day-to-day lithography manufacturing. To continue extending optical
lithography for printing feature with critical dimension (CD) under sub-half exposure wavelength, contact-hole patterning is the most
demanding one of all. Resolution enhancement technology (RET) masks together with ArF high numerical aperture (NA) scanners
have become the preferred method for 65nm node lithography manufacturing. So far several RETs have been introduced to improve
the printing resolution with adequate depth of focus (DOF), such as attenuated phase-shifting mask (AttPSM) and alternative phase-
shifting masks (AltPSM), optical proximity effect correction (OPC), off-axis illumination (OAI), focus latitude enhancement
exposure (FLEX), and lens pupil filter technology (Super-FLEX).
Among the RET mask types, AltPSM is a strong enhancement technique. However, it suffers from strong optical proximity effect
(OPE) that comes with the use of small illumination sigma (o) setting. It can be very difficult to achieve 2D pattern fidelity. As for the
inherent phase conflict, it might be feasible to apply design rule limitation to overcome for dense contact areas. But it still may be
very difficult for resolving the phase conflict in the semi-dense, semi-isolated, and isolated contact-hole areas. AttPSM with OAI
enhances the printing resolution and DOF for dense contact holes. For isolated and semi-isolated contact-hole printing, we can apply
symmetrical assist features, or anti-scattering bars (ASB) to enhance the printing. However, the DOF for certain pitch range of
contact-hole features may never be optimum due to compromised ASB placement in the limited feature spacing. Moreover, it is of
particularly complicated to optimize exposure settings for AttPSM to achieve a maximum common process window that includes the
full-pitch range, random contact-hole features. This is mainly due to mutually exclusive illumination settings as required by isolated,
semi-isolated, and dense contact holes. Small on-axis illumination o setting is best for printing isolated contact hole to achieve a good
printing resolution and DOF. While for dense contact holes, OAI is needed to get comparable printing resolution and DOF.
Multiple focal planes exposure, such as FLEX, can potentially increase DOF and image quality of contact holes pattern. One major
concern for FLEX is degraded image contrast due to excessively unwanted scattered light (flare) introduced by multiple exposure
passes. The flare issue is particularly severe for ArF; as a result, it can negate the benefit of FLEX. Lens pupil filtering technology,
also known as Super-FLEX, as compared to other techniques, is rather effective for enhancing the printing resolution and DOF.
However, this RET is generally difficult to implement in practice. This is because of the pupil design must take into account the
individual lens aberration signature, thermal expansion of the pupil filter, and light reflection characteristics from each of the
lens surface in the projection system. Those serious considerations make it very challenging before wanting to insert a pupil-filtering
Advanced Microlithography Technologies, edited by Yangyuan Wang,
Jun-en Yao, Christopher J. Progler, Proceedings of SPIE Vol. 5645
(SPIE, Bellingham, WA, 2005) 0277-786X/05/$15 doi: 10.1117/12.576519
32
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lens located in the pupil plane of the optical projection lens system.
Therefore there is a need to develop a new style of PSM that works well with OAI to get good image contrast, improved printing
resolution, and greater DOF for better lithographic performance of both dense and isolated contact holes. The goal is to achieve the
same effectiveness similar to Super-FLEX but without the negative concerns. In this paper, we present a new mask design to achieve
those. This new mask design, which we call Novel Improved Contact-hole pattern Exposure PSM (NICE PSM) is shown in Figure 1.
Unlike the rim or outrigger type, the NICE PSM design contains symmetrical ASB in both 0- and t-phases. Here we combine the 0
and t phase ASB with the use of OAI to design an optimum phase-shifting mask pattern for contact holes pattern printing. Using
the NICE PSM with a QUASAR type of OAI, we observe improved image contrast, printing resolution, and DOF for sub-half
through pitch contact holes patterning. The key concept for NICE PSM design is as follows. The novel mask design is to form an
apodized diffraction distribution pattern (Fourier transform pattern produced by passing light through the mask). When this is
projected onto the lens pupil plane, it becomes a natural pupil filter that is functionally similar to Super-FLEX. Then with an
optimized OAI, the DOF of the process window for both isolated and semi-isolated pitch contact-hole pattern can be simultaneously
enhanced.
2. PRINCIPLE OF NICE PSM DESIGN
The main concept of the NICE PSM combines the use of optimally placed phase-shifting ASB, and with an optimum OAI to generate
a phase apodizing distribution over the pupil plane. This is analogous to a naturally apodizing phase and amplitude pupil filter instead
of using a real pupil filtering lens. As explained by Hiroshi Fukuda [1,2,3,4], the NICE PSM design is based on the principle of
approximating the inverse Fourier transform of an apodizing pupil function. Here is an attempt to describe the principles under both
coherent and partially coherent illuminations.
2.1 Coherent Illumination
The configuration of an optical lithography projection system used for the modeling and analysis is depicted in Figure 2. In Fourier
optics, the calculation of electric field amplitude distribution in the ideal image plane E(x,y) starts with a Fourier transform of the
complex amplitude transmittance of the mask function m(x,y), proceeds with calculating the propagation of the Fourier components
in the optical system, and ends with an inverse Fourier transform. Based on Fourier optics [5,6], the amplitude distribution formed on
the image plane is calculated by:
( ) { } (1) ) , ( ) , ( ) , ( , ) , (
) ( 2 1
~ ~ ~
y x
y f x f i
y x y x y x
df df e f f P f f O f f P y x m F F y x E
y x
+

ll
=
)
`

= ' '
) , (
~
y x
f f P
Where f
x
and f
y
represent the pattern spatial frequency normalized by NA/. F and F
-1
denote Fourier transform and an inverse
Fourier transform respectively. The pupil function in eq. (1) represents the transmission function in the pupil plane of the
projection system. (f
x
, f
y
) is the Fourier transform of the mask function m(x,y). Then, according to the Abbe theory of image
formation, the unity intensity distribution on the image plane is:
(2)
) ( 2
~ ~
) , ( ) , ( ) , ( ) , (
2
2
y x
y
y
f x
x
f i
y x y x
df df e f f P f f O y x E y x I
+


ll
' ' ' ' = =
Where I(x,y) is the intensity at the image coordinate (x,y). Here we assume that the projection lens has unit magnification with no
lens aberrations. For a circularly symmetric optical projection system typically found in an exposure system,
~
(3)
. 0
1 1
2 2
x
) , (
~

s +
=
otherwise
f f if
y
y x
f f P
) , (
y x
f f P
Substitution of this expression for into eq. (2) results in
(4)
) ( 2
~
) , ( ) , (
2
y x
y
y
f x
x
f i
y x
df df e f f O y x I
+


ll
' ' =
The final image intensity distribution is formed from the interference of low-pass spatial frequency components (
1
2 2
x
s +
y
f f
) of
the mask spectrum.
Figure 3 shows three isolated phase shifting mask designs with coherent illumination, 0.75NA and ArF wavelength light source for
contact hole patterning: rim, outrigger and NICE. The Fourier transform images of these PSMs on the pupil plane can be calculated in
an analytical form by the operation of phase shifting and addition properties of Fourier transform. For the outrigger design, its Fourier
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transform, apart from a constant factor for energy conservation, is calculated by [7]:
( ) ( )
( ) (5) ) cos( ) )sinc( sinc( 2
) cos( ) )sinc( sinc( 2 ) )sinc( sinc( ) , (
2
~
y y o x o
x y x o o y x outrigger y x
df f h wf wh
df wf f h w h af af a f f O

=
Here a is the width of main feature size; w, h
o
, and d are geometrical parameters of outrigger phase shifter related to the phase width,
phase length, and pitch between the outrigger phase shifter and the main contact feature, respectively. And sinc() is sinc function.
Similarly, the Fourier transform of a rim-type contact is calculated by:
( ) ( )
( ) (6) ] ) ]sinc[( ) sinc[( ) (
) )sinc( sinc( 2 ) )sinc( sinc( ) , (
2
r
2
~
y r x r r
y x r r y x rim y x
f w h f w h w h
f h f h h af af a f f O
+
=
And for the new design, its Fourier transform distribution can also calculated by:
( )
( ) ( ) (7) ) cos( ) ( sin ) ( sin 2 ) cos( ) ( sin ) ( sin 2
) cos( ) cos( 4 1 ) ( sin ) ( sin ) , (
2
~
O
d f f h c wf c wh d f wf c f h c w h
df df af c af c a f f
y y n x n x y x n n
y x y x NICE y x
+ +
=
Figure 3(a) compares the Fourier transform distributions on the pupil plane for the three types of mask design rim, outrigger, and
NICE PSMs. Both of the rim and outrigger type of masks can generate axially-centered and phase-apodizing pupil filtering effect.
The (f
x
, f
y
) images formed on the pupil plane is effectively analogous to the spatial pupil filter by Super-FLEX, with cos(2Sr
2
-/2)
phase and amplitude transmission distribution [1,2] at the lens pupil. Better resolution and enhanced DOF are to be expected when
with Super-FLEX effect during exposure. For the NICE PSM, on the other hand, the (f
x
, f
y
)
NICE
is not axial but a quadrupole shape
of apodized phase distribution on the pupil plane under coherent illumination. See Figure 3(b).
By analyzing the (f
x
, f
y
)
rim
distribution for the rim-type and outrigger-type masks versus the (f
x
, f
y
)
NICE
distribution of NICE PSM,
we observe that for rim-type and outrigger-type of PSMs, to achieve the best printing performance is to use small o (i.e., more
coherent) illumination setting. With such an illumination, it is possible to better maintain axially-centered and phase-apodizing pupil
filter effect. In other words, for the rim and outrigger masks to behave as if with Super-FLEX effect during exposure, it is only
possible to combine with the use of applicable illumination. As shown in Figure 4, the Super-Flex effect is substantially diminished
when o is larger than 0.3. One can expect that the corresponded aerial image quality for the contact hole is to become unusable. In
terms of the NICE PSM, however, the smaller o produces a non-axial but a quadrupole-type of phase-apodizing distribution on the
pupil plane. This does not match to the Super-FLEX effect as described for the circular lens pupil. Hence, it is impossible to enhance
image resolution and DOF when we combine NICE PSM with a small o illumination for contact holes exposure.
2.2 Partially Coherent Illumination
For coherent illumination, the diffraction distribution on pupil plane is obtained by the Fourier transform of mask pattern. For
partially coherent illumination, the diffraction distribution on pupil plane is obtained by superposing Fourier transform of mask
pattern with various off-axis source illumination points. Figure 5 shows a conceptual view of an optical projection system with
partially coherent illumination used for this analysis. Each of the illumination source point can be associated with a coordinated pair
(f
Sx
, f
Sy
) that is corresponding to a specific location of diffraction distribution on the lens pupil plane. In the discussion of coherent
illumination in Section 2.1, the point source is assumed to be on-axis such that (f
Sx
, f
Sy
)=(0, 0). For a partially coherent source point
where (f
Sx
, f
Sy
)=(0, 0), we can make the approximation that the optical projection system has a center shift such that the Fourier
transform images of the mask due to the illumination source point, s, is described by a shifted function () in eq.(2): (f
x
- f
Sx
, f
y
- f
Sy
).
According to Abbe method of imaging, the intensity distribution on the image plane can therefore be described mathematically by
slightly modified eq.(2):
(8)
) ( 2
~ ~
) , ( ) , ( ) , (
2
y x
y
y
f x
x
f i
y x Sy y Sx x
df df e f f P f f f f O y x I
+



ll
' ' =
In Figure 6 (a), the (f
x
- f
Sx
, f
y
- f
Sy
) diffraction distributions are obtained along the pupil diameter for three isolated PSMs that are
designed with a partially coherent illumination. This is a symmetrical illumination with four source points, or a quadrupole-type of
point source, with 0.75NAand ArF. Similarly, for the Fourier transform distribution of rim-type design, this is calculated by:
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( ) ( ) | | ( ) ( ) | |
( ) ( ) | | (9) } ) )( ( sinc ) )( ( sinc ) (
) ( sinc ) ( sinc 2 ) ( sinc ) ( sinc {
) , (
2
1 1
r
2
~
Sy y r Sx x r r
m
i
n
j
Sy y Sx x r r Sy y Sx x
rim Sy y Sx x
f f w h f f w h w h
f f h f f h h f f a f f a a
f f f f O
+
=

= =
Here h
r
is the phase shifter width of rim-type PSM. The i,j are the numbers of illumination source points refer to the quadrupole
illumination source points. And for the Fourier transform distribution of NICE PSM, this is calculated by:
( ) ( ) ( ) ( | |
( ) ( ) | | ( )
( ) ( ) | | ( ) (10) } ) ( cos ) ( sin ) ( sin 2
) ( cos ) ( sin ) ( sin 2
) ( cos ) ( cos 4 1 ) ( sin ) ( sin {
) , (
2
1 1
~
d f f f f h c f f w c wh
d f f f f w c f f h c w h
f f d f f d f f a c f f a c a
f f f f O
Sy y Sy y n Sx x n
Sx x Sy y Sx x n n
Sx x Sx x Sy y Sx x
m
i
n
j
NICE Sy y Sx x
+
+
=

= =
)
Figure 6(b) shows when the mask is illuminated by an off-axis point source, the diffraction distributions are shifted away from the
optical axis by a shifted function (f
x
- f
Sx
, f
y
- f
Sy
). From the pupil diagrams of Figure 6(b), we observe that the NICE PSM can
produce axially-centered and phase-apodizing pupil filter effect. This Super-FLEX effect is generated when with the quadrupole-type
of illumination point sources superposition-ed on the central region of pupil plane. But for the rim-type PSM, it instead generates a
non-axial and a quadrupole-type phase-apodizing distribution. It cannot form the intended Super-FLEX effect with the quadrupole-
type of point sources. As explained in Section 2.1, we expect the NICE PSM with quadrupole illumination to have enhanced
resolution and DOF very similar to the ones achievable by combining rim-type (or outrigger-type) PSM with small o illumination.
Both are benefited by the Super-FLEX effect. Therefore, we conclude that the use of NICE PSM together with quadrupole-type of
OAI, we can expect excellent aerial image quality for enhanced resolution and larger DOF for contact holes pattern printing.
For the NICE PSM, when the o center of OAI is smaller than 0.6, it begins to lose the Super-FLEX effect on the central region of
pupil plane, as shown in Figure 7. Figure 8 shows the summary and comparison of (f
x
- f
Sx
, f
y
- f
Sy
) image distributions of rim-type
and NICE PSM with respect to on-axis and off-axis (quadrupole-type) illumination point sources. Based on the comparison, we
observe: (1) For rim-type or outrigger-type PSM, superposing the distribution profiles of Fourier transform of mask with small o
illumination forms Super-FLEX effect on the lens pupil plane. Therefore, these type PSMs are basically applicable only under
coherent illumination. (2) For the NICE PSM, however, superposing the distribution profiles of Fourier transform of mask with
quadrupole-type of OAI point sources forms Super-FLEX effect on the circular pupil plane. Therefore, this NICE PSM is effective
or contact-hoe patterning when under OAI type of partially coherent illumination. f
3. RESULTS OF LITHOGRAPHY SIMULATION
The lithography performance analysis for aerial images and process windows is based on simulation using a non-paraxial vector
imaging model assumed the exposure settings of ArF (=193nm) and NA=0.75. We have also used electromagnetic field (EMF)
simulation to verify the printing performance by considering the 3D topographical mask effect. The EMF simulation is based on the
finite difference time domain (FDTD) algorithm.
3.1 Aerial image simulation and process window analysis
The process window results of both rim-type and NICE PSMs for 100nm isolated contact hole printing are summarized in Figure 9.
For the illumination used, the QUASAR illumination setting is (0.93/0.7/20-degree) for (o-out/o-in/angle) and the conventional one
is with o of 0.3. When with QUASAR, the NICE PSM has a rather large process window (DOF=0.65um, exposure latitude or
EL=7%) but the rim-type PSM produced no process window. When change to 0.3 o conventional illumination, the rim-type PSM
produces a decent process window (DOF=0.58um, EL=7%) but not the NICE PSM. From this result we have confirmed our
observation in Section 2. That is, by forming a Super-FLEX effect with properly designed mask pattern and optimized illumination,
we can enhance the printing resolution and process window for the isolated contact hole features.
Figure 10(a) plots the 1D aerial image intensity profiles of NICE PSM corresponding to different defocus settings (from 0um to -
0.6um) under the same QUASAR illumination for the 100nm contact hole pattern. We observe that the center peak intensity profiles
are able to be kept for the same ratio to the side-lobe intensity level for the entire defocus range investigated. Figure 10(b) shows 2D
intensity distribution of the NICE PSM on the focal plane. Figure 11 shows the process window results of NICE PSM with the
QUASAR illumination for 100nm and 80nm isolated contact hole. For 100nm isolated contact hole, the maximum DOF is
0.65um with 7% of EL. And for 80nm isolated contact hole, the maximum DOF is approximately 0.5um with 6% EL. This is a very
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reasonable process window for lithography manufacturing for 80nm contact hole CD target. Figure 12 shows simulation results of
common process window for the contact hole printing for both 200nm 1:1 pitch binary mask and isolated NICE PSM. Using the
QUASAR OAI, we can simultaneously enhance printing performance of both dense with binary mask and isolated contact holes with
NICE PSM. Under the same exposure conditions, the maximum overlapping common process window of 1:1 dense array and isolated
contact hole is 0.58um DOF at 10% EL for rectangular window. It is slightly bigger for elliptical window, the maximum DOF is
0.64um at 12.8% EL.
Figure 13 shows the simulation results of aerial images and process windows for semi-isolated pitch contact hole printing. For semi-
isolated pitch NICE PSM, this pitch causes a degraded diffraction distribution profile under the same OUASAR OAI (0.93/0.7/20-
degree). This means that the Super-FLEX effect for this pitch range has become decreased due to more complex diffracted orders
entered into the lens pupil. To optimize, we decrease the inner radius of o to compensate for this effect. The QUASAR illumination of
(0.93/0.45/20-degree) is used for printing the semi-isolated pitch contact hole using NICE PSM design as shown. For 550nm pitch
contact hole with NICE PSM, the maximum DOF is 0.59um at 7% EL; while for 600nm pitch NICE contact hope pattern, the
maximum DOF is 0.64um at 7% EL. Although the process windows are good for the semi-isolated pitch range using NICE PSM
design, the use of smaller inner o setting for semi-isolated pitch contact hole printing will impact negatively on the image quality and
DOF of dense contact holes. But as shown, the larger inner o setting is not preferable for more isolated pitch contact hole NICE PSM.
To achieve a best overlapping process window for through-pitch contact holes printing, it is necessary to simultaneously optimize the
QUASAR illumination for both o inner and outer settings.
3.2 Three dimensional mask simulation
To look into 3D topography effects [8,9,10] of the NICE PSM, we use EMF with high NA vector simulation. The intensity
distribution along the cross-sectional direction of the mask plane (near field) and image plane (far field) are both calculated.
Figure 14 shows the near field image profiles of two types of NICE PSM structure under a QUASAR illumination: one is the un-
etched main contact hole feature with un-etched ASB (or assist feature) structure in Figure 14(a) and another one is the etched main
contact hole feature with etched ASB structure in Figure 14(b). In the Kirchhoff (2D thin mask) approximation, the simulation results
of etched and un-etched ones are all corresponding to their respective 2D size. There is of little difference can be observed for the two
types. When with a rigorous 3D EMF simulation analysis for the near field intensity distribution, the etched main contact hole feature
with the etched ASB structure shows a stronger electromagnetic wave scattering effect due to the etched side-walls. This is likely to
negatively affect their imaging formation characteristics in the far field. More in-depth investigation is still needed for an overall
understanding of 3D mask topography impacts on the image formation quality.
Figure 15 shows the corresponded far field aerial image intensity profiles for the two types of NICE PSM as derived from the 3D
EMF simulations. The comparison of the aerial images for etched and un-etched structures are shown in Figure 15(a) and 15(b).
Similar to near filed simulation results, the un-etched structure shows a better contour image quality than the etched one. Figure 15(c)
and 15(d) show the comparison of 0
o
with 45
o
cut-line of 1D aerial image intensity profiles. Again, the un-etched structure
outperforms with a better peak intensity.
4. CONCLUSIONS
In this paper, we present a new contact hole PSM design, named NICE PSM. When it is applied together with QUASAR OAI, we can
enhance the printing resolution to achieve an excellent overall process window for printing contact feature CD below sub-half
exposure wavelength. The imaging quality enhancement mechanism for NICE PSM is to use it together with QUASAR illumination
to form a natural pupil filter that is functionally behaved like the previously presented Super-FLEX effect. Using NICE PSM with
OAI is a much more elegant and flexible approach than to insert an actual pupil filer to the lens to form Super-FLEX. Although we
have demonstrated excellent printing perform for isolated contact hole, we show that this method call for additional illumination
optimization in order to achieve optimized results for printing through-pitch, random array of contact hole patterns. We have also
investigated 3D mask topography effect for the NICE PSM, it seems that the un-etched main contact hole features with un-etched
ASB structures are the better imaging performer.
5. ACKNOWLEDGEMENT
The author has received help and support from ASML Masktools. Thanks to both J. Fung Chen and Stephen Hsu for their suggestions
in this work. The authors also wish to acknowledge the simulation software support from Sigma-C, GmbH.
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REFERENCES
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Aperture I-Line Lens, Jpn. J. Appl. Phys. 30, 3037 (1991)
2. Hiroshi Fukuda, T. Terasawa, and S. Okazaki, Spatial filtering for depth of focus and resolution enhancement in optical
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Appl. Phys. 32, 5845 (1993)
4. Hiroshi Fukuda, Y. Kobayashi, T. Tawa, and S. Okazaki, Performance of pupil filtering stepper-lens system, Microelectric
Engineering 27, 213 (1995)
5. M. Born and E. Wolf, Principles of optics, sixth ed. (1980)
6. Alfred Wong, Resolution Enhancement Techniques in Optical lithography, chapter 2 and chapter 8. (2001)
7. Shuo-Yen Choua, Jen-Chung Loua, "Evaluating the Impact of Spherical Aberration on Sub-0.2-micron Contact/Via Hole
Patterning", Proc. SPIE 4346, 1318(2001)
8. C. Pierrat, A. Wong, and S. Vaidya, Phase-shifting Mask Topography effect on Lithographic Image Quality, IEDM, (1992)
9. A. Wong and A. Neureuther, Mask Topography Effects in Projection Printing of Phase-shifting masks, IEEE Transactions on
Electron Devices, vol. 41, no6, (1994)
10. Tsuneo TERASAWA, Norio HASEGAWA, Akira IMAI and Shinji OKAZAKI, Analysis of Nonplanar Topography effects of
Phase Shift Masks on Image Characteristics, Jpn. J. Appl. Phys. 34, 6578 (1995)
(b)
(a)
0 deg
180 deg
Figure 1: NICE PSM design for contact hole patterning. (a) shows the 2D NICE mask structure including 3-D mask top-view and
cross-sectional profiles. In 3D mask cross-sectional profile, the zero degree cut-line means X-Z plane cross-sectional profile and the
45
o
cut-line refers to XY-Z plane cross-sectional profile. (b) shows diffraction distributions profile including 2D diffraction
distributions, 3D top view view, and cross-sectional profile of diffraction distributions on the lens pupil plane. The optical conditions
for diffraction calculations are ArF (193nm), 0.75NA, quadrupole-type of four illumination source points with (o =0.93).
Proc. of SPIE Vol. 5645 37
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Figure 2: Modeling and anal sis of on-axis illumination projection system. Mask pattern m(x,y) on the object plane received a nearly
vertical incidence by coherent illumination creating an diffraction distribution (f
x
,f
y
) on the lens pupil plane. An intensity
distribution Ix, yis created on the image plane through the projection lens with NA= sin.
(a) (b)
0
o
180
o
Figure 3: Three isolated PSM designs under coherent illumination (0.75NA and ArF) for contact hole patterning: (a) shows rim and
outrigger types. By properly arranging the dimension and location of the phase assist features, (or anti-scattering bars, ASB) the
phase-apodizing, pupil-filtering effect at the center of the pupil can be generated. (b) is the new design PSM, or the NICE PSM. The
(f
x
, f
y
)
NICE
is a non-axial but a quadrupole-type of phase-apodizing distribution on the pupil plane.
Figure 4: The Fourier transform distributions of rim-type PSM for o settings range from 0 to 0.5. The Super-FLEX effect is
decreased when o > 0.4. Here o>0 refers to the use of quadrupole-type of four illumination source points.
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S
Figure 5: Modeling and analysis of off-axis illumination projection system. Mask pattern m(x,y) on the object plane received oblique
incidence by partially coherent illumination (where oblique incidence angle is
S
) creating an diffraction distribution (f
x
- f
Sx
, f
y
- f
Sy
)
n the pupil plane. o
(a)
0
o
180
o
(b)
NICE
PSM
Rim-type
PSM
Figure 6: (a) shows the (f
x
- f
Sx
, f
y
- f
Sy
) distributions of three isolated PSMs design with partially coherent illumination (again refers to the use
of quadrupole-type of four symmetrical illumination point sources), 0.75NA, and ArF wavelength. (b) shows when the mask is illuminated
by an off-axis point source, the diffraction distributions are shifted away from the optical axis. From the pupil diagrams on the right side of
(b), we observe that NICE PSM generates axially-centered, phase-apodizing pupil filter effect when with the quadrupole-type illumination
point sources that are superposition-ed on the central region of lens pupil plane.
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Figure 7: The Fourier transform distributions of NICE PSM with different o settings (from 1.0 to 0.5) of quadrupole-type four
illumination source points. The Super-FLEX effect starts to become diminished when o settings is smaller than 0.6.
(a)
(b)
Figure 8: The summary of (f
x
- f
Sx
, f
y
- f
Sy
) image distributions for rim-type and NICE PSMs under on-axis and off-axis (quadrupole-
type) illumination point source. (a) shows non-axial quadrupole-type distribution from NICE PSM with on-axis coherent source point
and rim PSM from quadrupole-type of partially coherent illumination respectively. (b) shows axially-centered, phase-apodizing pupil
filter profile from rim PSM with on-axis coherent source point and NICE PSM with
quadrupole-type of partially coherent illumination.
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Figure 9: The summary of process window results of rim-type and NICE PSMs for printing 100nm isolated contact hole. The
simulation conditions are 0.75NA, ArF, conventional illumination with o=0.30 conventional and with QUASAR of
(o
out
/o
in
=0.93/0.70 with opening of 20
o
). The simulation results from the top two rows with QUASAR OAI: NICE PSM has a large
process window (DOF=0.65um, EL=7%) but no process window for the rim-type PSM as shown in the 2
nd
row. The bottom two rows
use 0.30 o conventional illumination, for rim-type PSM in the 3
rd
row, it can obtain large process window (DOF=0.58um, EL=7%)
but not NICE PSM as shown in the 4
th
row.
(a) (b)
Figure 10: (a) shows the 1D aerial image intensity profiles of 100nm contact hole NICE PSM with the QUASAR illumination under
different defocus settings (from 0 to -0.6um). Using the NICE PSM with QUASAR OAI, the center peak intensity profiles are able to
be kept for the same ratio to the side-lobe intensity level for the entire defocus range investigated. (b) shows the two dimension
intensity contour distribution of NICE PSM at the best focus.
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(a)
(b)
Figure 11: The process window results of NICE PSM (QUASAR, 0.75NA, and ArF) for isolated contact hole printing. (a) shows
100nm isolated contact hole printing with maximum DOF of 0.65um with EL of 7%. (b) is the result from the printing of 80nm
isolated contact hole, the maximum DOF is approximately 0.5um with 6% of EL.
Figure 12: The common process window simulation results of 200nm pitch, 1:1, dense contact hole with binary mask and isolated
contact hole by NICE PSM. With the same printing conditions in Figure 11, the maximum overlapping common process window of
1:1 dense array and isolated contact hole is 0.58um DOF at 10% EL for rectangular window. And for elliptical process window, it is
slightly bigger with the maximum DOF of 0.64um at 12.8% EL.
Figure 13: The simulation results of aerial images and process windows for semi-isolated pitch contact hole printing. For 550nm pitch
contact hole with NICE PSM, the maximum DOF is 0.59um at 7% EL; while for 600nm pitch NICE contact hope pattern, the maximum
DOF is 0.64um at 7% EL. The printing conditions are: QUASAR 20
o
, o
out
/o
in
=0.93/0.45, 0.75NA, ArF.
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(a)
(b)
Etched Un-etched
Figure 14: The near field image profiles of two types of NICE PSM structure under a QUASAR illumination. (a) is the un-etched
main contact hole feature with un-etched ASB structure. (b) is the etched main contact hole feature with etched ASB structure. The
3D EMF simulations show that (b) has a stronger electromagnetic wave scattering effect due to the etched side-walls. This is likely to
negatively affect their imaging formation characteristics in the far field.
(b)
(a)
(c) (d)
Figure 15: (a) & (b) show 2D contour image distributions for un-etched and etched types of NICE PSM structures. (c) & (d) show the
comparison between 0
o
with 45
o
cut-line of 1D aerial image intensity profiles. From simulation results, the un-etched main pattern
structure has better peak intensity than the one from etched structure.
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