Toppan’s ongoing joint development project with IBM has led to the mask manufacturer claiming it is now ready to support 22nm and 20nm photomask prototyping as well as production for leading-edge semiconductor manufacturing customers. The latest photomask technology accommodates advanced double patterning and source mask optimization (SMO) solutions to extend the capabilities of 193nm wavelength ArF immersion optical lithography, without associated significant increases in mask costs, according to Toppan.
Novel mask material and associated photomask process integration steps were developed such as a new, thinner opaque MoSi on glass (OMOG) material for improved photomask and wafer performance. Toppan claims that these developments have resulted improved flatness, less process-induced pattern placement change, increased cleaning durability, better resolution, and superior image uniformity.
The reduced topography associated with thin OMOG is claimed to generate smaller electromagnetic field bias2 as well as improved wafer manufacturability and reduced mask pattern constraints. Relaxed mask pattern constraints increase optical proximity correction flexibility on key features such as sub-resolution assists and corner-to-corner gaps.
“This announcement marks a significant milestone in the successful, multi-year joint development collaboration between Toppan and IBM,” said Gary Patton, Vice President of IBM Semiconductor Research & Development Center. “Photomasks are critical to enabling technology for semiconductor manufacturing, and together our two companies have delivered an advanced mask manufacturing technology that can help speed the development, volume production and time-to-market of 22nm and smaller devices.”
Toppan claims that superior lithography performance can be obtained through a combination of mask improvements and wafer printing benefits.