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10 May 2016 Clean induced feature CD shift of EUV mask
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EUV developed in the last decade to the most promising <7nm technology candidate. Defects are considered to be one of the most critical issues of the EUV mask. There are several contributors which make the EUV mask so different from the optical one. First one is the significantly more complicated mask stack consisting currently of 40 Mo/Si double layers, covered by Ru capping layer and TaN/TaO absorber/anti-reflective coating on top of the front face of the mask. Backside is in contrary to optical mask covered as well by conductive layer consisting of Cr or CrN. Second contributor is the fact that EUV mask is currently in contrary to optical mask not yet equipped with sealed pellicle, leading to much higher risk of mask contamination. Third reason is use of EUV mask in vacuum, possibly leading to deposition of vacuum contaminants on the EUV mask surface. Latter reason in combination with tight requirements on backside cleanliness lead to the request of frequent recleaning of the EUV mask, in order to sustain mask lifetime similar to that of optical mask. Mask cleaning process alters slightly the surface of any mask - binary COG mask, as well as phase shift mask of any type and naturally also of the EUV mask as well. In case of optical masks the changes are almost negligible, as the mask is exposed to max. 10-20 re-cleans within its life time. These modifications can be expressed in terms of different specified parameters, e.g. CD shift, phase/trans shift, change of the surface roughness etc. The CD shift, expressed as thinning (or exceptionally thickening) of the dark features on the mask is typically in order of magnitude 0.1nm per process run, which is completely acceptable for optical mask. Projected on the lifetime of EUV mask, assuming 100 clean process cycles, this will lead to CD change of about 10nm. For this reason the requirements for EUV mask cleaning are significantly tighter, << 0.1 nm per process run. This task will look even more challenging, when considering, that the tools for CD measurement at the EUV mask are identical as for optical mask. There is one aspect influencing the CD shift, which demands attention. The mask composition of the EUV mask is significantly different from the optical mask. More precisely there are 2 materials influencing the estimated CD in case of EUV mask, whereas there is one material only in case of optical masks, in first approximation. For optical masks, the CD changes can be attributed to modification of the absorber/ARC layer, as the quartz substrate can be hardly modified by the wet process. For EUV Masks chemical modification of the Ru capping layer - thinning, oxidization etc. are rather more probable and we need to take into account, how this effects can influence the CD measurement process. CD changes measured can be interpreted as either change in the feature size, or modification of the chemical nature of both absorber/ARC layer stack and the Ru capping layer. In our work we try to separate the effect of absorber and Ru/capping layer on the CD shift observed and propose independent way of estimation both parameters.
© (2016) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Pavel Nesládek, Thorsten Schedel, and Markus Bender "Clean induced feature CD shift of EUV mask", Proc. SPIE 9984, Photomask Japan 2016: XXIII Symposium on Photomask and Next-Generation Lithography Mask Technology, 99840N (10 May 2016);


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