LONDON – Semiconductor industry consortium Sematech has announced it has made significant defect reductions in mask blanks for extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography, a step towards enabling high volume manufacturing at smaller geometries using the next-generation lithography.
Technologists working at Sematech's base in Albany, New York, have met the 22-nm defect requirements for EUV mask blanks, the organization said.
Sematech specifically created a mask blank defect reduction program to accelerate progress that would otherwise block the introduction of EUVL.
Following a two-year effort to improve deposition tool hardware, process parameters and substrate cleaning techniques, technologists deposited EUV multilayers with as few as eight defects per mask at 50-nm sensitivity. This result was achieved on a 40 bi-layer film stack with a ruthenium cap and measured over the mask blank quality area of 132 millimeters by 132 millimeters.
In addition, Sematech has developed a novel cleaning process to allow EUV mask blanks with less than 20 total defects at 45-nm sensitivity.
For successful introduction, integrated EUV blanks must meet a defectivity level of less than 0.003 defects per square centimeter at 25-nm sensitivity.
Stefan Wurm, Sematech's director of lithography, said in a statement that Sematech is showing EUVL is usable.
Related links and articles:
Japanese EUV litho consortium goes global
London Calling: Mirror, mirror on the EUV machine
EUV startup in talks with ASML, seeks $5 million