Method of Distortion Compensation by Irradiation of Adaptive Lithography Membrane Masks

LSU Reference: 9917


  • Local heating is used to compensate for distortion in lithography masks

  • X-ray lithography
  • Ultraviolet and deep ultraviolet lithography
  • Optical lithography
  • E-beam and ion lithography
  • Semiconductor
  • Microdevices

  • Any source of distortion may be corrected distortion in the mask as manufactured, distortion in the mask that develops over time, distortion in the wafer
  • The correction technique is rapid, reducing "down time" for lithography exposure tools
  • The adaptable method allows feedback correction, decreasing the need to rely on ever more rigid systems to compensate for error.

Abstract: Techniques are disclosed to compensate for distortions in lithography by locally heating the membrane in a lthographic mask. the techniques may be used both to shrink and to expand areas of the mask locally, in order to adjust for varying magnitudes and signs of distortion. In one embodiment the correction method comprises two steps: (1) A Send-ahead wafer is exposed and measured by conventional means to determine the overlay errors at several points throughout the field. (2) During exposure of subsequent wafers, calibrated beams of light are focused on the mask. The heating from the absorbed light produces displacements that compensate for the overlay errors measured with the send-ahead wafer. Any source of distortion may be corrected -- for example, distortion appearing on the mask initially, distortion that only develops on the mask over time, or distortion on the wafer. In another embodiment, a reference pattern is formed on the membrane as a means of measuring mask distortion, and the heat input distribution needed to correct distortion is determined by subsequent measurements of the reference pattrern. In this alternative embodiment, any source of distortion in the mask may be corrected.