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Image-based pupil plane characterization via a space-domain basis

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Aberration characterization plays a critical role in the development of any optical system. State-of-the-art lithography systems have the tightest aberration tolerances. We present an approach to image-based pupil plane amplitude and phase characterization using models built with a space-domain basis, in which aberration effects are separable. A polynomial model is constructed between the projections of the image intensity for chosen binary mask targets onto this basis and pupil amplitude or phase variation. This method separates model building and pupil characterization into two distinct steps, thus enabling rapid pupil characterization following data collection. The basis is related to both the transmission cross-coefficient function and the principal components of the image intensity. The pupil plane variation of a zone-plate lens from the Semiconductor High-NA Actinic Reticle Review Project (SHARP) at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory is examined using this method. Results are compared to pupil plane characterization using a previously proposed methodology where inverse solutions are obtained through an iterative process involving least-squares regression.

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