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High-NA EUV Complicates EUV Photomask Future


The eBeam Initiative’s 11th annual Luminaries survey in 2022 reported EUV fueling growth of the semiconductor photomask industry while a panel of experts cited a number of complications in moving to High-NA EUV during an event co-located with the SPIE Photomask Technology Conference in late September. Industry luminaries representing 44 companies from across the semiconductor ecosystem partic... » read more

2022 Survey: Luminaries Report Positive EUV Impact On Mask Trends


The eBeam Initiatives 11th Annual Luminaries Survey from July 2022 shows • EUV viewed as a positive impact for mask revenue • EUV remains the top reason for purchasing multi-beam mask writers • Confidence remains high in ability to make curvilinear masks with availability of multi-beam mask writers less of an issue this year Click here to read the survey results. » read more

Hunting For Macro Defects: The Importance Of Bare Wafer Inspection


As logic and memory semiconductor devices approach the limits of Moore’s Law, the requirements for accuracy in layer transfer become increasingly stringent. One leading silicon wafer manufacturer estimates that 50% of epitaxial wafer supply for logic will be on nodes equal to or less than 7nm. This is up approximately 30% from earlier in the decade. To meet the demands of extreme ultraviol... » read more

Particle Removal From EUV Photomasks


This technical paper titled "AFM-Based Hamaker Constant Determination with Blind Tip Reconstruction" was just published by researchers at ASML, RWTH Aachen University, and AMO GmbH. The research reports a vaccuum AFM-based approach for particle removal from EUV photomasks. Find the technical paper here. Published August 2022. Ku, B., van de Wetering, F., Bolten, J., Stel, B., van de K... » read more

How Overlay Keeps Pace With EUV Patterning


Overlay metrology tools improve accuracy while delivering acceptable throughput, addressing competing requirements in increasingly complex devices. In a race that never ends, on-product overlay tolerances for leading-edge devices are shrinking rapidly. They are in the single-digit nanometer range for the 3nm generation (22nm metal pitch) devices. New overlay targets, machine learning, and im... » read more

Suppressing Stochastic Interaction To Improve EUV Lithography


Authors Zhimin Zhu Sr., Joyce Lowes, Shawn Ye, Zhiqiang Fan, and Tim Limmer of Brewer Science, Inc. (United States) used Stochastic Area Thickness (SAT) and Dynamic Stochastic Area Thickness (DSAT) to evaluate the stochastic interactions. High optical foot exposure is proposed instead of conventional low substrate reflectivity to reduce SAT. Adhesion control by acid/quencher loading is proposed... » read more

Attenuated Phase Shift Masks (attPSM) For EUV (Fraunhofer IISB)


New research paper titled "Attenuated phase shift masks: a wild card resolution enhancement for extreme ultraviolet lithography?," from researchers at Fraunhofer-Institut für Integrierte Systeme und Bauelementetechnologie IISB (Germany). Aim: "We review published research on attenuated phase shift masks (attPSM) for EUV with special emphasis on modeling and fundamental understanding of the ... » read more

The Changing Mask Landscape


Semiconductor photomasks have undergone some major technology changes in the past few years after relatively minor changes for many years. New technologies such as multi-beam mask writers and extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography are major breakthroughs as they ramp into high-volume manufacturing. A new trend related to these technologies is the use of curvilinear features on photomasks. Aki... » read more

ASD process that was performed in situ on the etch chamber


New research paper entitled "Plasma-based area selective deposition for extreme ultraviolet resist defectivity reduction and process window improvement" from TEL Technology Center, Americas and IBM Research. Abstract: "Extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography has overcome significant challenges to become an essential enabler to the logic scaling roadmap. However, it remains limited by stocha... » read more

Photomask Shortages Grow At Mature Nodes


A surge in demand for chips at mature nodes, coupled with aging photomask-making equipment at those geometries, are causing significant concern across the supply chain. These issues began to surface only recently, but they are particularly worrisome for photomasks, which are critical for chip production. Manufacturing capacity is especially tight for photomasks at 28nm and above, driving up ... » read more

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