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Opt Express. 2011 Sep 26;19(20):19384-98. doi: 10.1364/OE.19.019384.

Pixelated source mask optimization for process robustness in optical lithography.

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Imaging Systems Laboratory, Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, The University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam Road, Hong Kong.


Optical lithography has enabled the printing of progressively smaller circuit patterns over the years. However, as the feature size shrinks, the lithographic process variation becomes more pronounced. Source-mask optimization (SMO) is a current technology allowing a co-design of the source and the mask for higher resolution imaging. In this paper, we develop a pixelated SMO using inverse imaging, and incorporate the statistical variations explicitly in an optimization framework. Simulation results demonstrate its efficacy in process robustness enhancement.

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