Article

Predicting substrate-induced focus error

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Abstract

The ever-shrinking lithography process window dictates that we maximize our process window, minimize process variation, and quantify the disturbances to an imaging process caused upstream of the imaging step. Relevant factors include across-wafer and wafer-to-wafer film thickness variation, wafer flatness, wafer edge effects, and design-induced topography. We present our effort to predict design-induced focus error hot spots based on prior knowledge of the wafer surface topography. This knowledge of wafer areas challenging the edge of our process window enables a constructive discussion with our design and integration team to prevent or mitigate focus error hot spots upstream of the imaging process.

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