The photomask is a critical element throughout the lithographic image transfer process, from the drawn layout to the final structures on the wafer. The non-linearity of the imaging process and the related MEEF impose a tight control requirement on the photomask critical dimensions.

Critical dimensions can be measured in aerial images with hardware emulation. Development of photomask CD characterization with the AIMS tool was motivated by the benefit of MEEF sensitivity and the shorter feedback loop compared to wafer exposures.

This paper describes a new application that includes: an improved interface for the selection of meaningful locations using the photomask and design layout data with the Calibre Metrology Interface, an automated recipe generation process, an automated measurement process, and automated analysis and result reporting on a Carl Zeiss AIMS system.

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