NEWS

EUV Tech delivers a next-generation HVM EUV Reflectometer

August 26th, 2015 -- EUV Tech delivers a next-generation Reflectometer to evaluate the reflectivity and uniformity of EUV photomasks to a major U.S chip manufacturer. The new tool extends EUV Tech's lead in developing metrology equipment to support next-generation EUV lithography.

Extreme ultraviolet lithography (EUV) is expected to dramatically reshape the semiconductor industry in the coming years and help continue Moore's law by packing more transistors on a chip, reducing costs, and improving energy efficiency. This change necessitates a new generation of photomasks featuring a complex multilayer coating. These photomasks create a unique challenge for conventional inspection and quality control equipment and require the development of new at-wavelength EUV metrology tools to ensure uniform, defect-free chip development. EUV Tech's signature product, the EUV Reflectometer, has been in use at the world's leading mask manufacturers and research facilities and is recognized as a critical metrology tool for ensuring the quality of a EUV photomask. That tool has now evolved to meet the needs of the photomasks of the future.

"The HVM EUV Reflectometer represents another technical leap in EUV metrology equipment" said Dr. Rupert Perera, President of EUV Tech. "This is the first at-wavelength EUV metrology tool put into a production environment. No product in the world can match how clean and precise this piece of equipment is for handling such an essential step in quality assurance of a mask."

The major challenges of a high-volume manufacturing (HVM) EUV metrology tool are the clean transfer of the photomask to the process chamber and the extremely precise measurement performance requirements. With no commercially available transfer systems that can meet the strict EUV cleanliness requirements, EUV Tech embarked on an ambitious program to develop an ultra-clean transfer system. Partnering with machine shops, precision cleaning companies and major semiconductor manufacturers, EUV Tech developed a proprietary machining, cleaning, and handling process to ensure the cleanest starting point for mask integrity measurement. After selecting next-generation low-particulate materials and developing an optimal transfer process, EUV Tech was able to develop and deliver a transfer system that met the strict standards for particulate adders per pass required for HVM EUV lithography.

The HVM EUV Reflectometer boasts measurement precision and cleanliness numbers that exceed those achieved at synchrotron facilities worldwide and features intelligent system software and automated control systems to ensure reliable and highly repeatable results for high-volume manufacturing. With the ability to measure high, low, patterned, and black border areas of a photomask with extremely high precision, the HVM EUV Reflectometer has proven itself as a valuable tool for EUV photomask development that is ready to meet the needs of mask producers and mask blank manufacturers worldwide.