Rigorous electromagnetic field simulation of two-beam interference exposures for the exploration of double patterning and double exposure scenarios
The introduction of double patterning and double exposure technologies, especially in combination with hyper NA, increases the importance of wafer topography phenomena. Rigorous electromagnetic field (EMF) simulations of two beam interference exposures over non-planar wafers are used to explore the impact of the hardmask material and pattern on resulting linewidths and swing curves after the second lithography step. Moreover, the impact of the optical material contrast between the frozen and unfrozen resist in a pattern freezing process and the effect of a reversible contrast enhancement layer on the superposition of two subsequent lithographic exposures are simulated. The described simulation approaches can be used for the optimization of wafer stack configurations for double patterning and to identify appropriate optical material properties for alternative double patterning and double exposure techniques.