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A lOX reticle was produced with programmed defects of both polarities varying size, proximity to adjacent features, and feature sizes. The defects were imaged in various resist materials over silicon, silicon dioxide, silicon nitride, polysilicon, aluminum, and a 1X chrome mask using a GCA/Mann 4800 stepper. Results obtained using optical and scanning electron microscopy demonstrated that reticle defects as small as 1.0 micron, when in proximity to a feature, will cause linewidth variation in the printed image. The resist film and underlying substrate did affect the linewidth variation. Defocus and over/under exposure also influenced the severity of damage created by reticle defects. A two—dimensional aerial image simulator SPLAT, which is a version of SAMPLE, was used to simulate the optical interactions of defects with adjacent features.

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