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Resolution Enhancement Technologies

Excerpt from Field Guide to Optical Lithography

Resolution Enhancement TechnologiesAttempts to improve the process window by optical means (sometimes called optical “tricks”) include:

  • Optimization of the mask pattern shape (optical proximity correction, OPC)
  • Optimization of the angles of light illuminating the mask (off-axis illumination, OAI)

Collectively, these optical approaches are known as resolution enhancement technologies (RETs). While some techniques improve feature resolution at the expense of pitch resolution, many of the RET approaches can improve pitch resolution and increase the process window simultaneously. However, the most promising RETs (especially the best PSMs techniques) require a revolution in chip layout design that has yet to occur.

Resolution Enhancement Technologies


C. A. Mack, Field Guide to Optical Lithography, SPIE Press, Bellingham, WA (2006).

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