We describe the correlation between the measured width of silicon waveguides fabricated with 193 nm lithography and the local pattern density of the mask layout. In the fabrication process, pattern density can affect the composition of the plasma in a dry etching process or the abrasion rate in a planarization step. Using an optical test circuit to extract waveguide width and thickness, we sampled 5841 sites over a fabricated wafer. Using this detailed sampling, we could establish the correlation between the linewidth and average pattern density around the test circuit, as a function of the radius of influence. We find that the intra-die systematic width variation correlates most with the pattern density within a radius of 200 um, with a correlation coefficient of 0.57. No correlation between pattern density and the intra-die systematic thickness variation is observed. These findings can be used to predict photonic circuit yield or to optimize the circuit layout to minimize the effect of local pattern density.
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