The Application of Alternating Phase-Shifting Masks to 140 nm Gate Patterning: Line Width Control Improvements and Design Optimization

In this paper we show that the problem of intrafield line width variations can be effectely solved through a novel application of alternating phase-shifting mask (PSM) technology. To illustrate its advantages, we applied this approach to produce 140 nm trasistor gates using DUV (248 nm wavelength, KrF) lithography. We show that: Systematic intrafield line width variations can be controlled within 10nm (or 3sigma), and variations across the wafer held to within 15 nm (or 3sigma), within a target k1 factor of k1=0.237 (140 nm target gate lengths).

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