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Mask Error Factor and Critical Dimension Budgets for Sub-Half Micron CMOS Processes

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GRAHAM ARTHUR, Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, Didcot, Oxon, UK
BRIAN MARTIN, Mitel Semiconductor, Plymouth, Devon, UK

ABSTRACT
The effect known as mask error factor (MEF) is investigated using the optical lithography simulation tool PROLITH/2 with a well tried and tuned set of simulation parameters. These investigations are extended to include the effect of pitch, linewidth, optical proximity correction, focus, lens aberrations, partial coherence, resist contrast, resist thickness and exposure. Through the use of focus-exposure matrices, process windows and manufacturing critical dimension (CD) budgets, the impact on reticle procurement specifications is also examined.
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