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Aerial image simulation is one of the key parts in the model-based optical proximity correction (OPC) technique, which has become a must have process to improve lithography performance with ever-decreasing feature sizes. In this paper, a fast aerial image simulation approach is proposed by using one basis mask pattern to generate a lookup table, where the convolutions of the basis pattern with the partially coherent kernels are precalculated and stored. A rectilinear polygon mask pattern used in integrated circuit layouts can be decomposed into several shifted basis patterns. Its convolutions with kernels for use in aerial image calculation can then be quickly obtained from the precalculated lookup table by applying the translation-invariant property of two-dimensional convolution. Simulations conducted by using the proposed approach have demonstrated that this approach yields a superior quality in the fields of aerial image calculation and OPC optimization, due to the advantage of dramatically decreasing the storage requirement. It is fully expected that this approach will be simple to implement and will provide a useful practical means for OPC systems.
Journal of Vacuum Science & Technology B: Microelectronics and Nanometer Structures (Volume:29 , Issue: 6 )
Date of Publication: Nov 2011