Semiconductor scaling is slowing down because of difficulties of device manufacturing below logic 7nm
node generation. Various lithography candidates which include ArF immersion with resolution enhancement
technology (like Inversed Lithography technology), Extreme Ultra Violet lithography and Nano Imprint
lithography are being developed to address the situation. In such advanced lithography, shot counts of mask
patterns are estimated to increase explosively in critical layers, and then it is hoped that multi beam mask
writer (MBMW) is released to handle them within realistic write time. However, ArF immersion technology
with multiple patterning will continue to be a mainstream lithography solution for most of the layers. Then,
the shot counts in less critical layers are estimated to be stable because of the limitation of resolution in ArF
immersion technology. Therefore, single beam mask writer (SBMW) can play an important role for mask
production still, relative to MBMW. Also the demand of SBMW seems actually strong for the logic 7nm
node. To realize this, we have developed a new SBMW, EBM-9500 for mask fabrication in this generation. A
newly introduced electron beam source enables higher current density of 1200A/cm2. Heating effect
correction function has also been newly introduced to satisfy the requirements for both pattern accuracy and
throughput. In this paper, we will report the configuration and performance of EBM-9500.
To reduce down time associated with routine cathode replacement we developed a turret-type electron gun
for our electron beam mask writer, EBM-8000. This enables us to exchange cathodes without venting the gun
to atmosphere, thereby reducing the downtime for cathode replacement by 80% compared to conventional
Two key elements were considered in developing the turret-type electron gun: reducing fluctuation in beam
current, and eliminating discharge sources.
Reducing fluctuation in beam current is one of the most important elements because it has an impact to
critical CD accuracy. In EBM-8000, the current fluctuation must be 0.1% (3s) or less to attain the CD
accuracy specification. We will explain how the beam stability is realized.
Special treatment to eliminate discharge sources is necessary to realize long-term stability of the electron
gun. We devised a conditioning sequence which repeatedly increases and decreases the voltage applied to the
barrel in N2 atmosphere. This conditioning sequence allowed us to dramatically decrease the probability of
discharges, allowing us to achieve long-term stability operation.
In order to comply with the demanding technology requirements for 45 nm half pitch (HP) node (32 nm technology
node), Nuflare Technology Inc. (NFT) has developed Electron-beam mask writing equipment, EBM-6000, with
increased current density (70A/cm2), while its other primary features basically remain unchanged, namely 50 kV
acceleration voltage, Variable Shaped Beam (VSB)/vector scan, like its predecessors [1-5]. In addition, new
functionalities and capabilities such as astigmatism correction in subfield, optimized variable stage speed control,
electron gun with multiple cathodes (Turret electron gun), and optimized data handling system have been
employed to improve writing accuracy, throughput, and up-time. VSB-12 is the standard input data format for
EBM-6000, and as optional features to be selected by users, direct input function for VSB-11 and CREF-flatpoly
are offered as well.
In this paper, the new features and capabilities of EBM-6000 together with supporting technologies are reported to
solidly prove the viability of EBM-6000 for 45 nm HP node.