The possibility to calibrate lithography process simulation tools to specific lithography processes based on a hundred or so measurements obtained from test prints is demonstrated. The calibrated model can accurately capture process distortions such as isolated/dense critical dimension nonlinearities and line-end shortening effects. With a properly calibrated lithography process model, the process simulations provide consistent and sensible results of defect printability analysis. The methodology gives all the desired new capabilities that cannot be achieved or are very hard to achieve using conventional approaches. Mask defect analysis based on calibrated process simulations will have applications in advanced mask defect analysis and repair.
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