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Sematech, Asahi Glass to improve EUV mask blank yield

Posted: 03 Mar 2009 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:partnership development? blank mask? EUV?

Sematech and Asahi Glass Co. (AGC) have entered into a joint development partnership to accelerate mask blank commercialization. Sematech and AGC will collaborate at the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering (CNSE) of the University at Albany on methods for improving extreme UV (EUV) mask blank yield to accelerate commercial manufacturing readiness.

In this latest move toward enabling critical infrastructure for EUV lithography, a team of engineers from AGC has been assigned to Sematech's EUV Mask Blank Development Center at CNSE's Albany NanoTech with the goal of reducing defect levels to the 0.003 defects/cm? at the printable defect size, which is required for manufacturing success. Mask blanks are the starting material used to make the finished mask that contains the device pattern for the lithographic process. Producing defect-free mask blanks in the quantities required for high-volume manufacturing is a key technical challenge that must be solved to prepare EUV lithography for cost-effective insertion at the 22nm half-pitch generation and below.

"Sematech and AGC have already shared a great deal of technical success through collaboration over the past several years," said Mitsuhiko Komakine, manager of AGC's EUV mask blank development group.

In a cooperative approach, Sematech's Mask Blank Development Center, one of the major R&D centers within CNSE's Albany NanoTech Complex in Albany, provides access to new mask and lithography tools and materials, as well as immediate feedback and assistance from Sematech member company assignees working there.

A traditional problem in any technology ramp from the development stage to high-volume manufacturing is the time lost in transferring knowledge and experience from group to group. Creating an environment in which both the development team and the commercial supplier learn concurrently is a sure method to maximize transfer speed.

"We are pleased to welcome AGC as the newest global corporate partner to locate at the UAlbany NanoCollege through the highly successful Sematech-CNSE partnership," said Richard Brilla, VP for strategy, alliances and consortia at CNSE.

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