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11 March 2002 New approaches to alternating phase-shift mask inspection
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Alternating phase shift masks (altPSM) are gaining importance as a reticle enhancement technique to meet the ITRS Litho Roadmap sub-130 nm node line widths. AltPSM fabrication usually involves etching of the quartz substrate in order to form the phase shift structures. Defects can arise during the quartz-etching step from imperfections in the resist image thereby causing various forms of phase shifting defects on the reticle. These reticle phase shift defects can result in printable defects on the wafer. In order to prevent wafer yield loss from occurring, it is necessary to detect and repair the reticle defects. A die-to-die inspection algorithm using simultaneous transmitted and reflected light signals was developed for the KLA-Tencor TeraStar SLF27 inspection system. The algorithm processes the transmitted and reflected light signals in parallel to detect both phase and chrome defects at high speed. One of the several challenges in the use of reflected light for pattern defect detection on alternating phase shift masks is to ignore lithographically insignificant mask process artifacts such as bright chrome 'halos' which may exhibit significant differences between adjacent die. This paper discusses the inspection challenges of alternating phase shift masks. Defect sensitivity characterization results from programmed phase defect reticles are presented.
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Larry S. Zurbrick, Jan P. Heumann, Maciej W. Rudzinski, Stanley E. Stokowski, Jan-Peter Urbach, and Lantian Wang "New approaches to alternating phase-shift mask inspection", Proc. SPIE 4562, 21st Annual BACUS Symposium on Photomask Technology, (11 March 2002);

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