The increasingly smaller depth of focus of advanced lithographic tools requires that the position of best focus be determined to ensure accuracy and efficiency. We present what we believe is a novel bar in bar that is drawn on a conventional chrome binary mask to translate focal errors into center-to-center shifts of outer and inner bars. An overlay measurement tool can easily measure this shift. A symmetrical center-to-center shift against best focus is created during defocus, and this shift can be well fitted by a second-order polynomial equation. Simply differentiating the fitted equation leads to an accurate and reliable focus value, with a maximum error of less than 0.05 µm. The proposed technique can also be employed to evaluate the tilt, field curvature, and astigmatism of advanced lithographic tools.
© 2001 Optical Society of America
Original Manuscript: May 9, 2000
Revised Manuscript: February 8, 2001
Published: June 1, 2001
Chin-Yu Ku, Tan Fu Lei, and Hwang-Kuen Lin, "Focus measurement with a simple pattern design," Appl. Opt. 40, 2662-2669 (2001)