Sub-Resolution Assist Features (SRAFs) have been extensively used to improve the process margin for isolated and semi-isolated features. It has been shown that compared to rule-based SRAFs, model-based placement of SRAFs can result in better overall process window. Recently, pixelated source in optical lithography has become the subject of increased exploration to enable 22/20 nm technology nodes and beyond. Optimization of the illumination shape, including free-form pixelated sources, has shown performance gains, compared to standard source shapes. This paper will demonstrate the influence of such different free-form sources as well as conventional sources on model-based SRAF placement.

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