Abstract

In optical lithography the degradation of image quality due to aberrations present in the exposure tool is a serious problem. Therefore it is desirable to establish a reliable aberration measurement procedure based on the analysis of printed images in the photoresist. We present what is to our knowledge a new method for characterizing the aberrations of an exposure tool using a hybrid diffractive photomask. By utilizing each different impact on the aberrated image from each diffracted illumination, we were able to extract the aberration present in the stepper system. We experimentally verified this method with a G-line stepper and verified its spherical aberration astigmatism.

© 2003 Optical Society of America

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