Rigorous simulation of exposure over nonplanar wafers
Standard simulations of optical projection systems for lithography with scalar or vector methods of Fourier optics make the assumption that the wafer stack consists of homogeneous layers. We introduce a general scheme for the rigorous electromagnetic field (EMF) simulation of lithographic exposures over non-planar wafers. Rigorous EMF simulations are performed with the finite-difference time-domain (FDTD) method. The described method is used to simulate several typical scenarios for lithographic exposures over non-planar wafers. This includes the exposure of resist lines over a poly-Si line on the wafer with orthogonal orientation, the simulation of "classical" notch problems, and the simulation of lithographic exposures over wafers with defects.