It has been published that there is potential benefit to utilizing an OPC model based upon defocus instead of best focus processing, to give more robust patterning1-4. While this is true with respect to gross opens and bridging problems, the available CD budget and the anticipated manufacturing consumption of defocus budgets must be considered. The net result will almost certainly always be that for gate layer processing, defocus model based OPC is not desirable. For other layers there may be favorable yield implications to running in such a manner, but the average CD in manufacturing will deviate from the design target. This paper will explore the interplay between variable focus distributions in manufacturing and the required CD control, pointing to those conditions under which a defocus model is advisable, and where it is not. Furthermore, the optimum magnitude of defocus is a compromise and has implications for final electrical performance.

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