Demonstrating the benefits of source-mask optimization and enabling technologies through experiment and simulations

David Melville*, Alan E. Rosenbluth, Kehan Tian, Kafai Lai, Saeed Bagheri, Jaione Tirapu-Azpiroz, Jason Meiring, Scott Halle, Greg McIntyre, Tom Faure, Daniel Corliss, Azalia Krasnoperova, Lei Zhuang, Phil Strenski, Andreas Waechter, Laszlo Ladanyi, Francisco Barahona, Daniele Scarpazza, Jon Lee, Tadanobu InoueMasaharu Sakamoto, Hidemasa Muta, Alfred Wagner, Geoffrey Burr, Young Kim, Emily Gallagher, Mike Hibbs, Alexander Tritchkov, Yuri Granik, Moutaz Fakhry, Kostas Adam, Gabriel Berger, Michael Lam, Aasutosh Dave, Nick Cobb

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

26 Scopus citations


In recent years the potential of Source-Mask Optimization (SMO) as an enabling technology for 22nm-and-beyond lithography has been explored and documented in the literature.1-5 It has been shown that intensive optimization of the fundamental degrees of freedom in the optical system allows for the creation of non-intuitive solutions in both the mask and the source, which leads to improved lithographic performance. These efforts have driven the need for improved controllability in illumination5-7 and have pushed the required optimization performance of mask design.8, 9This paper will present recent experimental evidence of the performance advantage gained by intensive optimization, and enabling technologies like pixelated illumination. Controllable pixelated illumination opens up new regimes in control of proximity effects,1, 6, 7 and we will show corresponding examples of improved through-pitch performance in 22nm Resolution Enhancement Technique (RET). Simulation results will back-up the experimental results and detail the ability of SMO to drive exposure-count reduction, as well as a reduction in process variation due to critical factors such as Line Edge Roughness (LER), Mask Error Enhancement Factor (MEEF), and the Electromagnetic Field (EMF) effect. The benefits of running intensive optimization with both source and mask variables jointly has been previously discussed.1-3 This paper will build on these results by demonstrating large-scale jointly-optimized source/mask solutions and their impact on design-rule enumerated designs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationOptical Microlithography XXIII
ISBN (Print)9780819480545
StatePublished - 2010
EventOptical Microlithography XXIII - San Jose, CA, United States
Duration: Feb 23 2010Feb 25 2010

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
ISSN (Print)0277-786X
ISSN (Electronic)1996-756X


OtherOptical Microlithography XXIII
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Jose, CA


  • Mask Optimization
  • OPC
  • RET
  • SMO
  • Source Optimization
  • Source-Mask Optimization
  • global optimization
  • linear program
  • off-axis illumination
  • optical proximity correction
  • pixelated illumination
  • programmable illumination reticle enhancement technology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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