Abstract

A resolution enhancement technique for optical microlithography based on coherent multiple imaging was investigated with use of Prolith/2 (a commercial lithographic simulation tool). It was shown that a Fabry–Perot etalon placed between the mask and the projection lens of an optical stepper could be interpreted as an appropriate transmission-phase pupil-plane filter. While previous calculations were able to evaluate simple patterns (such as an on-axis contact hole), this new approach also allows the simulation of complex mask patterns. Evaluation of the point-spread function of the optical systems by means of coherent multiple imaging showed that an optimized filter is capable of increasing the resolution by 28% and the depth of focus by 150%.

© 1999 Optical Society of America

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