Phase analysis of amplitude binary mask structures
Shaping of light behind masks using different techniques is the milestone of the printing industry. The aerial image distribution or the intensity distribution at the printing distances defines the resolution of the structure after printing. Contrast and phase are the two parameters that play a major role in shaping of light to get the desired intensity pattern. Here, in contrast to many other contributions that focus on intensity, we discuss the phase evolution for different structures. The amplitude or intensity characteristics of the structures in a binary mask at different proximity gaps have been analyzed extensively for many industrial applications. But the phase evolution from the binary mask having OPC structures is not considered so far. The mask we consider here is the normal amplitude binary mask but having high resolution Optical Proximity Correction (OPC) structures for corners. The corner structures represent a two dimensional problem which is difficult to handle with simple rules of phase masks design and therefore of particular interest. The evolution of light from small amplitude structures might lead to high contrast by creating sharp phase changes or phase singularities which are points of zero intensity. We show the phase modulation at different proximity gaps and can visualize the shaping of light according to the phase changes. The analysis is done with an instrument called High Resolution Interference Microscopy (HRIM), a Mach-Zehnder interferometer that gives access to three-dimensional phase and amplitude images. The current paper emphasizes on the phase measurement of different optical proximity correction structures, and especially on corners of a binary mask.