Abstract

We propose a method of designing a freeform lens array for off-axis illumination (OAI) in optical lithography to produce desired OAI patterns and improve efficiency. Based on the Snell law and the conservation law of energy, a set of first-order partial differential equations are derived and the coordinate relations for each OAI pattern are established. The contours of the freeform lens unit are calculated numerically by solving the partial differential equations, and the freeform lens array is obtained by arraying the lens units. Moreover, the optical performance for each OAI pattern is simulated and analyzed by software. Simulation results show that the irradiance distribution of each OAI pattern can be well controlled with a maximum uniformity of 92.45% and a maximum efficiency of 99.35%. Also, analysis indicates that this method has the advantages of reducing the complexity of the exposure system and having good tolerance to the input intensity variations of the laser beam.

© 2011 Optical Society of America

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