Imaging Components, Systems, and Processing

Potential application of far-field superlens in optical critical dimension metrology: a simulation study

[+] Author Affiliations
Wen Li, Hao Deng

Chinese Academy of Sciences, Fujian Institute of Research on the Structure of Matter, Laboratory of Laser Engineering Technology, Fuzhou, Fujian, China

Shuqiang Chen

University of Electronic Science and Technology of China, School of Physical Electronics, Chengdu, China

Opt. Eng. 56(5), 053109 (May 22, 2017). doi:10.1117/1.OE.56.5.053109
History: Received November 3, 2016; Accepted April 28, 2017
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Abstract.  Subwavelength periodic gratings, which are widely used in optical systems, exhibit only zero-order diffraction, owing to a diffraction limit. This limits the resolution of optical critical dimension (OCD) metrology. We propose a method to enhance the diffraction of subwavelength periodic gratings using a far-field superlens (FSL), which has the potential to obtain higher resolution in OCD metrology. All simulations in this study are performed using the rigorous coupled-wave analysis method. An FSL grating structure is developed for verifying the proposed method and for evaluating the role of the incident angle, misalignment, and air gap on the diffraction by the FSL grating structure. The simulation results show that, when overlaid with an FSL, a silicon grating with a period of 100 nm, which evoked zero-order diffraction only, can also evoke first- and second-order diffraction in the case of a large incident angle. Last, the potential application of an FSL in OCD metrology is discussed.

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© 2017 Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers

Citation

Wen Li ; Shuqiang Chen and Hao Deng
"Potential application of far-field superlens in optical critical dimension metrology: a simulation study", Opt. Eng. 56(5), 053109 (May 22, 2017). ; http://dx.doi.org/10.1117/1.OE.56.5.053109


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