Abstract

The correlation between the coma sensitivity of the alternating phase-shifting mask (Alt-PSM) mark and the mark's structure is studied based on the Hopkins theory of partially coherent imaging and positive resist optical lithography (PROLITH) simulation. It is found that an optimized Alt-PSM mark with its phase width being two-thirds its pitch has a higher sensitivity to coma than Alt-PSM marks with the same pitch and the different phase widths. The pitch of the Alt-PSM mark is also optimized by PROLITH simulation, and the structure of p=1.92λ/NA and pw=2p/3 proves to be with the highest sensitivity. The optimized Alt-PSM mark is used as a measurement mark to retrieve coma aberration from the projection optics in lithographic tools. In comparison with an ordinary Alt-PSM mark with its phase width being a half its pitch, the measurement accuracies of Z7 and Z14 apparently increase.

© 2009 Optical Society of America

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