Software Automatically Generates Proximity Effect Corrected Runfile for SEM-Based Electron Beam Lithography

The NanoMaker Workbench software from SEMTech Solutions automatically generates a Proximity Effect Corrected runfile, compatible with NPGS systems, for SEM-based electron beam lithography.

SEM micrograph of 20nm lines, 50nm pitch that highlights very stable and dense HSQ structure using the optimal doses provided by the NanoMaker software. HSQ resist thickness is 180nm.

The newly designed NanoMaker software has been successfully demonstrated at the Nanoscale Integration Laboratory, University of Texas at Dallas. The hardware platform included a Zeiss Supra 40 Field Emission Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) with a NPGS 9.2 pattern generator.

The experiment consisted of fabricating 20nm and 25nm lines with 50nm and 100nm pitched arrays, respectively, separated by a large solid rectangle in the middle. The HSQ resist thickness on Si was 180nm. Before using the NanoMaker Proximity Effect Correction (PEC) software, many different doses were tried to fabricate the structure correctly without success. Upon using the NanoMaker PEC software, the optimal doses were automatically assigned, the data exported to the NPGS, and the device was successfully fabricated.

“Usually, it is difficult to fabricate dense nanolines with higher aspect ratios because of the proximity effect,” states Professor Walter Hu, of the Nanoscale Integration Lab at UTD, “The preliminary NanoMaker results that show its ability to get down to uniform 20nm lines in width with 50nm pitch is remarkable.”

Scanning Electron Microscopes are typically limited in acceleration voltage to 30kV. This is where proximity effects are dominant. For organizations that need to create dense nano-patterns with a SEM, the NanoMaker design and PEC software package adds tremendous value to existing NPGS systems.

“We are grateful to Professor Walter Hu and his team for allowing us the opportunity to prove the power of the NanoMaker software,” states Dr. Sergey Zaitsev, CTO of NanoMaker and Head of the Theoretical Department at the Institute of Microelectronics Technology – Russian Academy of Sciences (IMT RAS), “We look forward to a continued partnership with UTD and other research institutes interested in electron/ion beam fabrication of nanodevices and structures using the NanoMaker system.”

NanoMaker is a powerful software/hardware system for SEM/FIB based lithography that is intended for state-of-the-art design and manufacturing of micro and nano electronic devices and structures.

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