SEMATECH touts zero-defect milestone for EUV mask blanks

February 15, 2006 – Researchers at SEMATECH North in Albany, NY, claim to have achieved total removal of particles as small as 43nm from quartz substrates, nearly the 40nm benchmark necessary required for pilot lines using extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography techniques (25nm is seen necessary for volume manufacturing).

Workers in SEMATECH North’s Mask Blank Development Center (MBDC) used an upgraded confocal microscope from Lasertec, compensated with a repetitive cleaning and overlay methodology that effectively “enlarged” the sub-50nm particles so that they could be detected.

“A great deal of work still remains for getting EUV mask blanks ready for manufacturing, but our cleaning methodology has removed another barrier,” stated David Krick, MBDC program manager.

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