Proximity effect correction calculations by the integral equation approximate solution

J. M. Pavkovich
Citation: Journal of Vacuum Science & Technology B 4, 159 (1986); doi: 10.1116/1.583369
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Published by the AVS: Science & Technology of Materials, Interfaces, and Processing
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org/termsconditions. It is normalized so that f ff(x. and the convolution of Gaussian functions is still Gaussian. {3f does affect the sharpness of the energy profile at the beam edge.239. 09 Apr 2014 06:30:39 . California 94303 (Received 17 June 1985. Thus the distribution function for the proximity problem can be written as 0134-211)(/86/010159-05$01. This paper describes a method of solving the equation for the incident dose in terms of the desired energy deposition in the resist. I dose compensation./3 b' and 1] are also all functions of z. but by the profile of the incident beam itself. the development process itself is not. -+ 1 + 7J rrf3 ~ exp- (3) In this equation. Pavkovich Varian Associates. INTRODUCTION In electron beam lithography. The forward scattering parameter f3 f is small compared to the minimum feature size.-- 7J 7T{3 } 2 x + y2 ) exp .Y)dX dy = (2) 1. M. Palo Alto.y')i(x'. however. f3f. although it can be used in conjunction with other methods. {3 b = width parameter of backward scattered energy. AU of these methods have their advantages and disadvantages. the steep portion of the energy deposition profile is determined not only by the broadening due to the forward scattering. If one chooses to correct for the proximity effect by doing dose compensation.aip.y) is adequately described by a double Gaussian-type function which will be written in the following form: f(x. Download to IP: 132. Also it is more appropriate to consider the beam edge broadening problem separately from the proximity problem and define the proximity problem as the problem caused by only the broad background scattering. Technol. f(x. B . The solution is an approximate solution.x'. Although the relationship between the incident flux and the resultant exposure is linear. One well known method is the self-consistent method. The backward scattering parameter {J b can be of the order of 1 or 2 J1 and is the source of the proximity problem. This must be so. the problem of proximity effect compensation is well known and several techniques have been suggested to solve it. (1) where K is a constant relating the energy deposition in the resist to the incident current density. This paper will attempt to describe how information from the development process can be used to define the exposure problem in a manner which provides more desirable solutions. The forward scattering. f(x.-=-- f3 } J.95. it is appropriate to approximate the forward scattering portion of the distribution function by a delta function.:.y) 1 159 1 (1) ( + = -. although still important. The backward scattered energy is quite broad and slowly varying spatially and thus generates a background level of energy on which the more sharply defined energy deposited by the forward scattering rests.Proximity effect correction calculations by the integral equation approximate solution method J. THE INTEGRAL EQUATION AND ITS SOLUTiON The energy deposition in a resist layer on top of a silicon substrate subjected to a patterning e-beam can be described by the following equation: E(x. For the moment.y')dx' dy'.4 or GHOST method.z multilayer resist techniques. otherwise there would be no hope of even doing lithography since one feature edge would directly affect another. U.91 On: Wed.. Vac. all of which must be dealt with in a reasonably satisfactory manner.. This paper describes a technique primarily useful with the dose compensation method. and 7J = ratio of total energy in backward portion to the total energy in the forward portion. /3f = width parameter of forward scattered energy. but appears to be accurate to within 2% or 3% of the correct solution. can be considered to contribute to simply a less sharply defined incident beam.y) is the incident current density.-"--. the vertical coordinate in the resist. I.y) is the function which describes the distribution of energy which would be deposited by an incident delta function of current. These include shape correction. (1).ntegral equation which describes the resultant exposure in terms ofthe incident flux of electrons.y) = K Jf f(x . Jan/Fab 1986 17(1) (X2+y2) {3 ~ . Since both are usually represented by Gaussian-type functions. see http://scitation. ScI. This paper describes a method which provides a relatively accurate approximate solution to the integral equation which is easy to calculate and which provides information on where features should be fractured to obtain good dose compensation.3 and the method of equalization of background dose. This means that the usual integral equation should be modified slightly so that the resultant exposure is defined in a manner which more closely matches the real problem.00 @ 1986 American Vacuum SOCiety 159 Redistribution subject to AVS license or copyright. we will assume that a z coordinate can be chosen which adequately characterizes the average energy deposition vertically.y . one major task is the solution of the i. However. It will be assumed that f(x. It should be noted that K. accepted 4 October 1985) The task of successfully dealing with the proximity effect problem involves many aspects. Moreover.

'0 FIG. No constraints are placed on the exposure in unexposed areas. (8) can be written in the form EaP (x) = K [_1_ I+TJ X I i(x) + _1]_ I+TJ P (x)S (x . Eq. With this simplification. Case II is a narrow gap between two infinitely large regions. and 1 where i(x) is not zero. but whether they are all similar that is important. which is really global in nature. it has a relatively constant value at all edges. one must multiply Eq. Far outside the region the contribution of the second term will drop to zero.y .y) =K [_1_ II K-. 1.X')i(X')dX'] ' (8) where Eo is the desired value of exposure within a feature. the kernel is a function ofthe pattern and thus there is no general characteristic type transfer function relating output to input as one sees with linear filters. It should also be noted that the method of equalization of background dose attempts to make the edge profiles all look like those for case II.exp 17/3 ~ and will be referred to simply as the spreading function. Vol. The functions J. Techno!. Case III is the edge of an infinitely large region.y) 1 +'YJ + _'YJ-S(x. Case I is a very narrow isolated line. '. where P (x) represents the patterns to be exposed and is equal to 1 inside a CASE III EDGE OF LARGE FEATURE IHIIIIIIIIIIlIl 1 ( 7) ). It is important to realize that it is not whether the edge profiles are good or bad in some sense.95. Moreover.y) =_1_ 8(x. Jan/Feb 1986 Redistribution subject to AVS license or copyright.y) = -1.) I I I I I I .91 On: Wed. Case III is the edge of an isolated large feature. (9) This is a linear integral equation of the second kind with a symmetric kernel. Techniques are available to solve such equations.y')dx' dyl UK' _w_ (6) I I I If we further consider only one dimension. the background is at its maximum value over the whole region. (7). the above equation becomes simply E (x) = K [_1_ i(x) f + _TJ_ s (x - X')z'(X')dX']. By writing things in this manner. M. all the edges have an energy profile similar to that depicted in case III. In this case. (7). 09 Apr 2014 06:30:39 . No.5. 4.y). S(x. there will be almost no contribution to the background and thus the resultant exposure will consist only of the first term in Eq. Even though the background exposure level is present. 1 + 'YJ (4) CASE I Hli NARROW LINE ( w4i i3b l where (X2 + y2) . see http://scitation. lI I .239. Thus to obtain the equation to be solved for i(x). Far inside. Case I is a very narrow line.y) 1+TJ X n (5) f3 ~ w4i ilb) + _TJ_ 11I11H1I1I1l IHIIIIIIHII 1+TJ S(x -x'. the contribution will approach TJ I (1 +TJ)· The proximity problem arises because of the significant change in the profile and level of the energy deposition when the feature size approaches the value off3 b' When the feature size is large. feature and 0 outside. The situation. In the traditional method of dose compensation. The result is EoP(x) = K [_1_ i(x)P(x) X I + _TJ_P(x) 1+1] l+TJ S (x . K 2 1 + r.x')P (x')i(x')dx' ]. '0 I (7) 1+1] l+TJ This equation describes the resulting exposure from an incident beam. from the precise shape ofthe beam edge. is not hopeless. however.aip. which is really a rather local problem. Equation (7) cannot be solved for i(x) since one does not know how to choose E (x) outside of features to generate an acceptable (non-negative) solution for i(x). Thus even in the gap there is essentially a full contribution from the second term in Eq. Case II is a very narrow gap between two large features. Download to IP: 132.l. . we can separate the proximity problem. Pavkovich: Proximity effect correction calculations f(x. If the line is very narrow.160 160 J. but they are not very useful for the problem at hand. (1) can be written in the form E (x. At the edge. Eq. S. (7) is 0. the objective is to choose the incident current so that the resultant exposure is uniform in all exposed areas. Three limiting cases illustrating the proximity effect.-+:. For the moment consider the three limiting cases depicted in Fig. 1.1. (7) by P (x). --. the value of the integral in the second term of Eq.y')i(x'. I I _w __ CASE II NARROW GAP ( i(x. Vac. Since P (x) is 0 where i(x) is Thus the resultant exposure has the step caused by the first term sitting on top of the contribution of the second term. Sci.

Moreover. M. the edge of a large region really represents one of the most difficult cases since it represents the fastest transition from a region where (P" S) is 1 to a region where it is O. The kinds of modifications considered were adding terms of the form [V (P >I<S) F or ['V 2 (P *S) 1 where '"v=l-+J-+ . and third.6 2. It should be expected that as the value of 'I] increases.. In the case of a small gap between two large features. At a value of 1.95. even for values of '11 greater than 1. thus I P (x)S (x . In this work. CALCULATION OF THE APPROXIMATE SOLUTION The calculation of the approximate solution is quite straightforward. the results are reasonably good. (P" S) is essentially zero and the dose should be increased by a factor of (1 + 1J). IV. Also it was possible to consider slight modifications to the approximate solution. This effort produced two results. ScI.5 2.414 ( _'I1_)2[V(P*SlF 1+1] (12) 'I = 1 to Eq.8 0. As can be seen. 2 is a plot of the correct numerical solution at the edge of a large region for 1] = 1. First. the difference between the resultant exposure at the edge.. The spreading function S (x .2 0..20 LSO 6. Maximum dose error (%) Maximum exposure error (%) Edge exposure error (%) 2.75 [(l/1 + '1]) + (1]/1 + 1J)(P*S) r + c: FIG. (11). We wish to calculate the value of (P *'S ) at each mesh point..86 TJ 0.1. 1JY[V(P>I<S W} . Secondly. COMPARISON WITH NUMERICAL SOLUTIONS For the proximity problems in which we are interested. The results are tabulated in Table I for various values of '1].x')P (x')dx'. the greatest error between the resulting exposures. This approximate solution has the correct limiting behavIor. Thus the recommended approximate solution is given by ---------~-~------ 0. (P *S) is also extremely wen behaved. (13) 2.x')P (x')i{x')dx' --+P (x)i(x) Js 161 TABI. the accuracy of the approximate solution should decrease. values of 11 range up to around 1.0. three measures were used to compare the approximate soluti. No.91 On: Wed. (P >I< S) is close to 1 and thus there is no need to increase the incident dose. 09 Apr 2014 06:30:39 .293 1 i(x) = ( E o I K ) p ( x ) l . Numerical solution of the integral equation illustrating the incident dose and the resulting deposited energy for the edge of a large isolated feature.on with the numerical solution.0 or perhaps a little more. Pavkovich: Proximity effect correction calculations 161 within the integral are all well behaved and never negative. The form of the integral is like a convolution which for this case tends to make the result more slowly varying than the input functions. first. e.25 4. a ax Jy az Such terms will be zero when (P "S) is constant and are coordinate system independent. In order to get some idea of the quality of this approximate solution. It is important to think of the mesh points as sample points at which the value of (P *'S) is calculated rather than an average over some area. Since the spreading function S (x) is extremely wen behaved. J. it is somewhat difficult to assess its accuracy.5 3. The size of the mesh is not related to the feature size.1 0.. a program was written which calculated both the approximate solution as well as determined the correct solution numerically for arbitrary cases of lines and spaces. a .6 0. Jan/Feb 1986 Redistribution subject to AVS license or copyright. (10) With this approximation.. but rather is related to f3 b' the backward scattering width parameter. Download to IP: 132. Also plotted in Fig. half of the deposited energy is going into the background. This means one can use a very coarse mesh and a high order interpolation INCiDENT DOSE DEPOSITED ENERGY 1. Vol. They were. The value of (P *S) at any arbitrary point can then be found by interpolation. a k -.00 3.. 4. see http://scitation. the integral can be evaluated and the resulting equation solved for fIx).239. the results of various test problems indicated that the above approximate solution could be improved slightly by adding a term of the form III.E 1. Vac. second.75 (x .x') is a localized function and thus tends to smooth out the variations in i(x). In the case of an isolated line.. One first overlays the pattern with a square grid of mesh points.2 4. Comparison of the approximate solution and the numerical solution for the case of an isolated edge for increasing values of 11. Since this approximate solution was not derived analytically and since it is impossible to solve the integral equation analytically. the greatest error between the correct and approximate solution.J.37 1. Techno!. it is really the changes in Pix) which contribute most to the variation of the value of the integraL Thus one is led to consider moving i(x') outside of the integral. The resulting approximate solution is then given by i(x) = (EoIK)P(x) (1/1 _ + '11) + ('11/ 1 + 'I])(p*S) (11) where we have written (P *S) for the integral since it now truly represents the convolution of the pattern function P (xl with the spreading function S (x).

see http://scitation. This in turn could depend somewhat on the level of background present. The same approximate solution techniques can still be used although the constants change slightly. After calculating (P *S) at all the grid points. in fact. V. It may therefore be worthwhile. The more difficult part of applying this method is then to determine how to actually do the exposure since even vector scan machines cannot vary the exposure continuously. This in fact may not be the best goal. Forward scattering can dearly be a problem. Thus one would replace the left-hand side of Eq. However. However. The calculation of (P *S) at the grid points is very simple for rectangles. depends on understanding the development characteristics ofthe resists 5 and how great the latitudes are in the development process. Thus how one chooses the mesh size is a compromise between the number of mesh points at which one calculates (P . which compounds the seriousness of forward scattering. the dose compensation technique requires good understanding of the resist development characteristics in order to determine a set of development parameters which provide sufficient latitude.162 J. Moreover. Vol. The effect of introducing this factor in the equation is simply to increase the effective value of 7J and to modify the definition of Eo. The important point is that defining the problem to be solved depends to some degree on the resist characteristics. each rectangle which is exposed can have its own level of intensity. dose compensation may provide faster throughput than the GHOST method. VI. ifbias 6 is used.95. The formula for the value of (P *S) at an arbitrary point is given by the following equation: (P *S) = ~ [erf (X2p~ X) _erf (Xlp~ X) ] X ~[erf(Y~~Y)-erf(Y~~Y)l (14) where erf(x) is the error function and is defined by erf(x) = . WHAT IS THE CORRECT PROBLEM? Thus far it has been assumed that the goal of the exposure process was to achieve uniform deposited energy within each feature. the values at each grid point can be converted to values of the approximate solution and thus the desired values of incident current 162 (16) where k = a factor which relates how the deposited energy should be reduced as the background level increases. The problem of forward scattering should be treated separately from the backward scattering problem since it is a local problem and occurs because the region related to the development of a line edge directly overlaps the region associated with the development of the edge of a neighboring feature. This means that one can calculate a factor to be associated with a row of grid points which depends only on they coordinates of a rectangle. How such decisions are made depend on defining "rules of thumb" to build into a program which define how great the deviations from the continuous solution can be. This approach would be useful with a resist which had a very high contrast. Vae. This technique should be useful if one wishes to do proximity correction using dose compensation. J. The technique described ignored the effect of forward scattering. Again.. CONCLUSIONS (15) x Y and the coordinates of the rectangle are defined by I' X 2• l' and Y2' Notice that the calculation is the product of two terms where each term is dependent on only one coordinate. Sci. In a region of high background. to require that the total resultant exposure decrease as the background level increases.2 LX e [iTo 2 u du. M. e. Download to IP: 132. (9) by a term of the form An approximate method of solving the integral equation relating the incident current density to the deposited energy has been described. Thus one should compensate for forward scattering by performing some form of shape adjustment. 1. but the intensity is constant across the rectangle. in tum. Techno!. Also it should be clear from this work that one should use parameters which characterize the deposited energy and background level when studying resist development. Although approximations are made in that method in terms of achieving background dose equalization. Pavkovich: Proximity effect correction calculations formula to find the value of(P *S) at an arbitrary point. even the dominant problem for very narrow lines and thick resists. The contribution at each grid point is then simply the row factor times the column factor. Whether or not this is true depends largely on the characteristics of the resist since it is the resist characteristics which determine how much fracturing is necessary. it is likely that the latitudes required in the resist development are smaller than with dose compensation. This. 09 Apr 2014 06:30:39 . This means that one must determine the appropriate average intensity to use in a rectangle and whether or not to fracture any particular rectangle into two or more pieces to achieve the best appropriate exposure. No. Another choice might be to define the problem to be solved in a manner which tried to keep the center of the forward scattering portion of the energy deposited at a constant level. 4. Typically.. in a vector scan machine. S) and the type of interpolation one wishes to use.91 On: Wed. the edges will continue to develop at a faster rate than where the background is low. A factor can also be calculated for a column which depends only on the x coordinates of a rectangle. The GHOST technique of proximity correction is clearly the method of choice in a raster scan machine. Jan/Feb 1986 Redistribution subject to AVS license or copyright.aip. it is true that any shape adjustment requires understanding the resist development process and how the energy density and background level affect that process. Incident current density is not an appropriate parameter. the lines which are exposed become even narrower. It is likely that the optimum approach is to use a very coarse mesh initially and then generate a finer grid of points by interpolation so that simple interpolation can be used to evaluate (P *S) at arbitrary points.239. This solution technique appears to give quite good results for the values of parameters typically encountered in practice.

A. and C. Vol. Phys. edited by Robert Bakish (The Electrochemical Society. Sci. S. Sci. 6. J.J. 3J. J. Technol.aip.71 (1979). andJ. 6M. P. No. Phys. in Proceedings of the 8th International Conference on Electron and Ion Beam Science and Vac.1. 148 (1985). R. 1978). Vac. 4:>. B.91 On: Wed. R. Jan/Feb 1986 Redistribution subject to AVS license or copyright. Technol. 2Mihir Parikh. H. I. 361. J. Neureuther. p. S. Owen and P. 1242 (1981). Youngman. see http://scitation. Download to IP: 132. G. Pavkovich. Pavkovlch: Proximity effect correction calculations 163 IN. 54. SO. 19. J. 4. 5A. Chen. S. Ting. Wittels and C. Vac. Sci. Vac. 09 Apr 2014 06:30:39 .239. 4G.M. Rosenfeld. A. Rissman. Sci. 1320 (1981). New York. and M. M. Neureuther. Techno!. B 3. 3573 (1983). 6. TechnoL 19. Appl. D. Kruger. 163 J.95. Rissman. Chang. J. Appl.