Integrating CD and Lithographic Process Window analysis with Mask Data Preparation for Subwavelength ICs

As the industry accelerates the reduction in subwavelength device feature sizes, it is necessary that the traditional barriers between design, mask data preparation (MDP), and the lithography process be broken down or eliminated. These processes, which now possess increased levels of complexity and interconnectivity, can no longer work independently. They must be linked and all applicable information about the processes propagated upstream.

Options associated with phase shift masks (PSM), optical proximity correction (OPC), increasing constraints for the minimum defect size requirements, improving yield and throughput, etc. have been key to the increased demands placed on the photomask manufacturers. Knowledge of the lithographic performance of a selected option prior to mask build is key to reducing mask cost, improving turnaround time and staying on the aggressive path established by the mask user.

Integrating CD and lithographic process window analysis with MDP provides a convenient means of helping the mask makers to predict the performance of a mask within the wafer fab. This paper will discuss the integration of CD and lithographic process window analysis tools with CATSTM mask data preparation software. The benefits of implementing this methodology will be explored and illustrated with data.

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