Special Section on Polarization and Hyper-NA Lithography

Mask-induced polarization effects at high numerical aperture

[+] Author Affiliations
Andrew Estroff

Rochester Institute of Technology, Microelectronic Engineering, 82 Lomb Memorial Drive, Rochester, New York 14623

Yongfa Fan, Anatoly Bourov, Bruce Smith

Rochester Institute of Technology, Microelectronic Engineering, 82 Lomb Memorial Drive, Rochester, New York 14623

J. Micro/Nanolith. MEMS MOEMS. 4(3), 031107 (August 26, 2005). doi:10.1117/1.2037507
History: Received November 04, 2004; Revised February 25, 2005; Accepted March 08, 2005; Published August 26, 2005
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Degradation in image contrast becomes a concern at higher numerical apertures (NAs) due to mask-induced polarization effects. We study how different photomask materials (binary and attenuated phase shift), feature sizes and shapes, pitch values, duty ratios (line to space), and wavelengths effect the polarization of transmitted radiation. Rigorous coupled-wave analysis (RCWA) is used to simulate the polarization of radiation by the photomask. The results show that higher NA leads to greater polarization effects in all cases. Off-axis illumination increases polarization in one of the first orders, decreasing it in the other. Nonvertical sidewall angles and rounded corners can also impact polarization, but the wavelength of incident radiation has no effect on polarization effects at the same NA values. In general, materials with higher refractive indices and lower extinction coefficients tend to pass more of the TM polarization state, whereas materials with lower refractive indices and a relatively wider range of extinction coefficients pass more TE polarized radiation. These properties can provide new design considerations for the development of next-generation masking materials.

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© 2005 Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers

Citation

Andrew Estroff ; Yongfa Fan ; Anatoly Bourov and Bruce Smith
"Mask-induced polarization effects at high numerical aperture", J. Micro/Nanolith. MEMS MOEMS. 4(3), 031107 (August 26, 2005). ; http://dx.doi.org/10.1117/1.2037507


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