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Optics Express

Optics Express

  • Vol. 17, Iss. 7 — Mar. 30, 2009
  • pp: 5783–5793

Pixel-based simultaneous source and mask optimization for resolution enhancement in optical lithography

Xu Ma and Gonzalo R. Arce  »View Author Affiliations

Optics Express, Vol. 17, Issue 7, pp. 5783-5793 (2009)

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Optical proximity correction (OPC) and phase-shifting mask (PSM) are resolution enhancement techniques (RET) used extensively in the semiconductor industry to improve the resolution and pattern fidelity of optical lithography. Traditional RETs, however, fix the source thus limiting the degrees of freedom during the optimization of the mask patterns. To overcome this restriction, a set of simultaneous source and mask optimization (SMO) methods have been developed recently where the resulting source and mask patterns fall well outside the realm of known design forms. This paper focuses on developing computationally efficient, pixel-based, simultaneous source mask optimization methods for both OPC and PSM designs, where the synergy is exploited in the joint optimization of source and mask patterns. The Fourier series expansion model is applied to approximate the partially coherent system as a sum of coherent systems. Cost sensitivity is used to drive the output pattern error in the descent direction. In order to influence the solution patterns to have more desirable manufacturability properties, topological constraints are added to the optimization framework. Several illustrative simulations are presented to demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed algorithms.

© 2009 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(050.5080) Diffraction and gratings : Phase shift
(110.4980) Imaging systems : Partial coherence in imaging
(110.5220) Imaging systems : Photolithography
(110.2945) Imaging systems : Illumination design

ToC Category:
Imaging Systems

Original Manuscript: December 17, 2008
Revised Manuscript: January 28, 2009
Manuscript Accepted: March 20, 2009
Published: March 26, 2009

Xu Ma and Gonzalo R. Arce, "Pixel-based simultaneous source and mask optimization for resolution enhancement in optical lithography," Opt. Express 17, 5783-5793 (2009)

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