Attenuated phase shift mask for extreme ultraviolet: Can they mitigate three-dimensional mask effects?
The understanding, characterization, and mitigation of three-dimensional (3-D) mask effects including telecentricity errors, contrast fading, and best focus shifts become increasingly important for the performance optimization of future extreme ultraviolet (EUV) projection systems and mask designs. We explore the potential of attenuated phase shift mask (attPSM) to mitigate 3-D mask effects and exploit them for future EUV imaging. The scattering of light at the absorber edges results in significant phase deformations, which impact the effective phase and the lithographic performance of attPSM for EUV. Rigorous mask and imaging simulations in combination with multiobjective optimization techniques are employed to identify the most appropriate material properties, mask, and source geometries. The resulting imaging performance is compared to the achievable performance of binary EUV masks.