Abstract

The control of line-edge roughness (LER) of features printed in photoresist poses significant challenges to next-generation lithography techniques such as extreme-ultraviolet (EUV) lithography. Achieving adequately low LER levels requires accurate resist characterization as well as the ability to separate resist effects from other potential contributors to LER. One potentially significant contributor to LER arises from roughness on the mask coupling to speckle in the aerial image and consequently to LER in the printed image. Here I numerically study mask surface roughness and phase roughness to resist LER coupling both as a function of illumination coherence and defocus. Moreover, the potential consequences of this mask effect for recent EUV lithography experiments is studied through direct comparison with experimental through-focus printing data collected at a variety of coherence settings. Finally, the effect that mask roughness will play in upcoming 0.3-numerical-aperture resist testing is considered.

© 2004 Optical Society of America

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