LONDON Three of the participants in the More Moore project, a European Commission funded initiative for the development of Extreme Ultra Violet Lithography (EUVL) in Europe, have created a photoemission electron microscope capable of measuring features as small as 20-nm without destroying the sample.
The groups involved are instrument maker Focus GmbH (Wiesbaden, Germany) and two German universities, Bielefeld and Mainz.
Working together, the groups recently identified defects of 50-nm buried under the multilayer coating of a mask blank.
In EUVL, "mask blank inspection" requires keeping the sample intact during inspection. The group says until now, this was not possible. Common methods such as scanning electron microscopy cannot identify defects hidden beneath the multilayer coating of the EUVL mask blank.
The participants say their advance is thus "an important step for EUV technology."
The Commission has funded More Moore to the tune of Euros 23.25 million for three years ending late 2006.
The aim of the project, led by ASML, is to resolve technical problems of EUVL so the technology can timely be introduced for volume production.
"We are proud that More Moore could contribute so significantly to the advancement of EUVL technology and are thankful for the EU support that makes this possible," says Rob Hartman, ASML's Director Strategic Technology Program and leader of the More Moore project.
Other companies involved in the project include Phystex, Zeiss, AMTC, Philips EUV, Xtreme Technologies, SIGMA-C, AZ Electronic Materials, Schott Lithotec, and Philips. Academic and research institutions participating Imec, CEA Leti, CNRS, TNO, the Fraunhofer Institute, as well as the universities of Bielefeld, Mainz, Delft and Birmingham.
Last year, Xtreme Technologies said it had exceeded its target in improving the power output of an EUV light source. The German company claimed it developed an EUV light source at 800 watts of power in a proof-of-principle experiment from about 120 watts at the start of the project.
For EUV to work in volume production, the power output must reach approximately 1 kilowatt by around 2010.
This, too, was achieved as part of the More Moore project.