Design Driven Test Patterns for OPC Models Calibration
In the modern photolithography process for manufacturing integrated circuits, geometry dimensions need to be realized on silicon which are much smaller than the exposure wavelength. Thus Resolution Enhancement Techniques have an indispensable role towards the implementation of a successful technology process node. Finding an appropriate RET recipe, that answers the needs of a certain fabrication process, usually involves intensive computational simulations. These simulations have to reflect how different elements in the lithography process under study will behave. In order to achieve this, accurate models are needed that truly represent the transmission of patterns from mask to silicon. A common practice in calibrating lithography models is to collect data for the dimensions of some test structures created on the exposure mask along with the corresponding dimensions of these test structures on silicon after exposure. This data is used to tune the models for good predictions. The models will be guaranteed to accurately predict the test structures that has been used in its tuning. However, real designs might have a much greater variety of structures that might not have been included in the test structures. This paper explores a method for compiling the test structures to be used in the model calibration process using design layouts as an input. The method relies on reducing structures in the design layout to the essential unique structure from the lithography models point of view, and thus ensuring that the test structures represent what the model would actually have to predict during the simulations.
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