Electron-beam lithography breakthroughs at Photomask Japan

April 16, 2012 — The eBeam Initiative, an electron-beam (eBeam) lithography for semiconductor manufacturing forum, will present at Photomask Japan (PMJ), through member companies, improved photomask critical dimension uniformity (CDU) and wafer yields thanks to eBeam technologies for lithography.

Also at Photomask Japan: SII reveals photomask repair tech for 16nm half pitch

HOYA Corporation, a member of the eBeam Initiative and a manufacturer of advanced photomasks, collaborated with fellow members D2S and JEOL to evaluate eBeam improvements to mask quality to support the complex mask requirements of its customers. HOYA improved mask quality while decreasing shot count through the use of model-based mask data preparation (MB-MDP) applied on a production mask writer. HOYA found MB-MDP and overlapping variable-shaped beam (VSB) shots impacted shot count, mask fidelity and robustness to manufacturing variation. Variation control of the shape-dependent mask pattern quality is increasingly important for leading-edge masks, with optical lithography remaining the semiconductor manufacturing technology for the foreseeable future, said Yasuki Kimura, Project Leader, Photolitho-Link Project, Advanced Technology Department at HOYA. "We are very pleased to find that MB-MDP reduces the burden on the writers in the production line through shot count reduction while achieving our critical mask quality objectives. We expect that both shot count and mask quality will improve further with more evaluation, and even further with the introduction of circular apertures."

GLOBALFOUNDRIES will present mask-wafer double-simulation results demonstrating the impact of MB-MDP on wafer simulation. Inverse lithography (ILT), enabled by MB-MDP, improved wafer yields by accurately showing process variation (PV) band, depth of focus (DOF) and mask error enhancement factor (MEEF) criteria. Shape-dependent-mask CDU has emerged as a key variable impacting wafer yield.

“At and below the 20nm logic node, mask assist features as well as some parts of the main mask features are smaller than 80nm in width, which makes mask accuracy increasingly difficult to maintain — negatively affecting wafer yield,” said Aki Fujimura, CEO of D2S Inc., the managing company sponsor of the eBeam Initiative.

The eBeam Initiative provides a forum for educational and promotional activities regarding new semiconductor manufacturing approaches based on electron beam (eBeam) technologies. To find out more, visit www.ebeam.org.

The eBeam Initiative recently added IMS Nanofabrication AG and tau-Metrix to its membership. Members and advisors: Abeam Technologies, Advantest, Alchip Technologies, AMTC, Applied Materials, Artwork Conversion, Aselta Nanographics, Cadence Design Systems, CEA-Leti, D2S, Dai Nippon Printing, EQUIcon Software GmbH Jena, e-Shuttle, Jack Harding from eSilicon Corporation, Fastrack Design, Fraunhofer CNT, Fujitsu Semiconductor Limited, GenISys GmbH, GLOBALFOUNDRIES, Grenon Consulting, HOYA Corporation, IMS CHIPS, IMS Nanofabrication AG, JEOL, KLA-Tencor, Mentor Graphics Corporation, Multibeam Corporation, NCS, NuFlare Technology, Petersen Advanced Lithography, Colin Harris from PMC-Sierra, Riko Radojcic from Qualcomm, Samsung Electronics, SoftJin Technologies, STMicroelectronics, Synopsys, tau-Metrix, Tela Innovations, TOOL Corporation, Toppan Printing, Vistec Electron Beam Lithography Group, and Xilinx. Membership is open to all companies and institutions throughout the electronics industry.

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