A significant factor in the degradation of nanolithographic image fidelity is optical wavefront aberration. As resolution of nanolithography systems increases, effects of wavefront aberrations on aerial image become more influential. The tolerance of such aberrations is governed by the requirements of features that are being imaged, often requiring lenses that can be corrected with a high degree of accuracy and precision. Resolution of lithographic systems is driven by scaling wavelength down and numerical aperture (NA) up. However, aberrations are also affected from the changes in wavelength and NA. Reduction in wavelength or increase in NA result in greater impact of aberrations, where the latter shows a quadratic dependence. Current demands in semiconductor manufacturing are constantly pushing lithographic systems to operate at the diffraction limit; hence, prompting a need to reduce all degrading effects on image properties to achieve maximum performance. Therefore, the need for highly accurate in-situ aberration measurement and correction is paramount. In this work, an approach has been developed in which several targets including phase wheel, phase disk, phase edges, and binary structures are used to generate optical images to detect and monitor aberrations in extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithographic systems. The benefit of using printed patterns as opposed to other techniques is that the lithography system is tested under standard operating conditions. Mathematical models in conjunction with iterative lithographic simulations are used to determine pupil phase wavefront errors and describe them as combinations of Zernike polynomials.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Nanolithography--Quality control; Imaging systems--Image quality

Publication Date


Document Type


Student Type


Degree Name

Microsystems Engineering (Ph.D.)

Department, Program, or Center

Microsystems Engineering (KGCOE)


Bruce W. Smith

Advisor/Committee Member

Karl D. Hirschman

Advisor/Committee Member

Zoran Ninkov


Physical copy available from RIT's Wallace Library at TK7874.843 .F46 2013


RIT – Main Campus

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