Directed Self-Assembly is the method by which a self-assembly polymer is forced to follow a desired geometry defined or influenced by a guiding pattern. Such guiding pattern uses surface potentials, confinement or both to achieve polymer configurations that result in circuit-relevant topologies, which can be patterned onto a substrate. Chemo, and grapho epitaxy of lines and space structures are now routinely inspected at full wafer level to understand the defectivity limits of the materials and their maximum resolution. In the same manner, there is a deeper understanding about the formation of cylinders using grapho-epitaxy processes. Academia has also contributed by developing methods that help reduce the number of masks in advanced nodes by “combining” DSA-compatible groups, thus reducing the total cost of the process. From the point of view of EDA, new tools are required when a technology is adopted, and most technologies are adopted when they show a clear cost-benefit over alternative techniques. In addition, years of EDA development have led to the creation of very flexible toolkits that permit rapid prototyping and evaluation of new process alternatives. With the development of high-chi materials, and by moving away of the well characterized PS-PMMA systems, as well as novel integrations in the substrates that work in tandem with diblock copolymer systems, it is necessary to assess any new requirements that may or may not need custom tools to support such processes. Hybrid DSA processes (which contain both chemo and grapho elements), are currently being investigated as possible contenders for sub-5nm process techniques. Because such processes permit the re-distribution of discontinuities in the regular arrays between the substrate and a cut operation, they have the potential to extend the number of applications for DSA.
This paper illustrates the reason as to why some DSA processes can be supported by existing rules and technology, while other processes require the development of highly customized correction tools and models. It also illustrates how developing DSA cannot be done in isolation, and it requires the full collaboration of EDA, Material’s suppliers, Manufacturing equipment, Metrology, and electronic manufacturers