The OPC treatment of aerial mage ripples (local variations in aerial contour relative to constant target edges) is one of the growing issues with very low-k1 lithography employing hard off-axis illumination. The maxima and minima points in the aerial image, if not optimally treated within the existing model based OPC methodologies, could induce severe necking or bridging in the printed layout. The current fragmentation schemes and the subsequent site simulations are rule-based, and hence not optimized according to the aerial image profile at key points. The authors are primarily exploring more automated software methods to detect the location of the ripple peaks as well as implementing a simplified implementation strategy that is less costly. We define this to be an adaptive site placement methodology based on aerial image ripples.

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