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Lithography Simulation

Layout and process optimization platform for most common lithography technologies

Experimental layout optimization and process development is highly time consuming and cost intensive. Lithography simulation allows access to numerous virtual experiment results in a short period of time and thereby significantly reducing development and production cost, and time to market by fast virtual exploration of a large parameter space. LAB enables further reduction in feature size for proximity, projection, laser and electron-beam lithography, for applications such as IC manufacturing, flat panel display, LED, MEMS, 3D packaging, mask manufacturing, and nano-fabrication. The fast and accurate calculation of the intensity image allows layout optimization (OPC), mask layout verification, optimization of process conditions (e.g. illumination, stack) and process window (e.g. gap or defocus and exposure dose variation) by varying the layout and/ or exposure parameters. Thousands of experiments can be computed “overnight” without producing masks or “burning” wafers. Once a good image contrast has been obtained, 3D resist development modeling allows further optimization of the resist profiles. Complex process effects such as lateral development, density dependent bias in electron-beam or in laser lithography can be analyzed and compensated.

 

LAB Major Features

Layout Operations

  • Import and Export of all major layout formats (GDSII, OASIS, CIF, DXF)
  • Loading full mask layout data
  • Extraction (Region, Layer, Cell), Transformation
  • (Scale, Shift, Mirror, Rotate)
  • Heal, Bias, Boolean operations, Merge

Layout Editor

  •  Creation of new layouts
  • Layout modification within flows for manual OPC

Mask Definition

  • Arbitrary layouts, regions of large
  • mask data
  • Mask corner rounding modelling
  • Gray-tone mask
  • Phase shift mask

Stack Definition

  • Any substrate and coating material with wavelength specific n/k parameters from material database
  • Anti reflection coating (ARC)
  • Resist with wavelength dependent n/k, bleaching, Dill and development parameters (Mack4, CAR, Percolation, Threshold)
  • 3D Topography (optional)

Proximity Exposure

  • Source spectrum (single line, broadband, peak-width)
  • Source shape (circular with collimation angle, user defined, SÜSS exposure optics)
  • Mask/Illumination tilt in X and Y
  • Fast and accurate simulation of 2D or 3D intensities based on Rayleigh- Sommerfeld and Transfer-matrix method (TMM)
  • Arbitrary gap from contact to large distance

Projection Exposure

  • Source spectrum (single line, broad band, peak-width)
  • Source shape (circular, standard shapes of major stepper tools, user defined)
  • Fast and accurate simulation of 2D or 3D intensities based on Fraunhofer diffraction solving the Hopkins equation and Transfer-matrix method (TMM)
  • Projection aligner, scanner, stepper of any NA including liquid immersion

 Laser Beam Exposure

  • Models all major laser tools for mask or wafer exposure
  • Includes the illumination optics of HIMT exposure tools
  • Simulates gray-tone lithography

Electron Beam Exposure

  • Models Gaussian as well as Variable- Shaped-Beam tools
  • Interfaces to various 3D Monte-Carlo PSF packages, or user defined Multi-Gaussian PSF
  • Simulation of dose modulated layouts (3D lithography, proximity effect correction)

 

Resist Development

  • Simple and fast threshold and diffused aerial image model
  • Mack4 for positive and inverse Mack negative resist development model
  • CAR with dynamic Acid/Quencher diffusion/reaction model
  • Resist development model using development rate table
  • Surface inhibition for Mack4 and Percolation model
  • Extract 2D resist contours as layout data

Metrology - Analysis - Calibration

  • Automated measurement at multiple metrology positions
  • CD measurements at user defined resist height, or remaining resist thickness measurements
  • Dose to Size, Reflectivity for resist and ARC thickness optimization
  • Focus Exposure Matrix (FEM), Gap Exposure Matrix for Proximity, Process Window (PW), Depth of Focus (DOF), MEEF, for multiple metrology points
  • Calibration of resist parameters with experimental data (contrast curves, FE matrix, arbitrary metrology data)
  • Flow parameters can be optimized to match a specified target using the Optimizer module

Visualization

  • 2D visualization of aerial image, bulk image, Photo-Active-Compound (PAC) concentration, resist profile
  • Arbitrary cut-lines in 2D views, 1D view along these cut-lines
  • 2D views in continuous color mode, or discrete contour lines at user defined thresholds
  • Combination of 1D and 2D views next to each other
  • Overlay mask and/or target layout in 1D and 2D views
  • 2D Matrix views, 1D Matrix or Overlay view
  • Analysis of image quality: intensity, image slope, image log-slope
  • 3D visualization of resist profiles
  • View of collected metrology results as graph, e.g. FE Matrix (Bossung plot), process window

Import 3D - Export 3D

  • Save and load 3D simulation data (image intensities, concentration)
  • CSV Export
 

 

Comprehensive Information (PDF) Related publications

   

Exposure options supported by LAB

LAB user interface for four different exposure modules with simulation result

LAB Analysis view

LAB Process window calculation