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Squeezing in Moore: Steppers for 10nm, EUV for 7nm

Posted: 17 Sep 2014 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:EUV? lithography? 10nm? 7nm?

EUV systems also need to reduce mask defects. Defects in blank masks have been reduced to zero (above). But "as long as there is one defect particle [in patterned masks], there is a fear, so we started developing pellicles," says Van den Brink.

Immersion systems have long depended on the protective layers, but developing them for EUV is still a work in progress. ASML has demonstrated an 85 per cent transmissive pellicle mounted on half an EUV mask without significant impact on wafer imaging (below).

EUV mask

ASML is in progress with a test of a pellicle that covers the entire mask. However Van den Brink made clear the company's goal is to enable defect-free masks without a pellicle. If the industry wants a protective layer, it should come from mask makers, he suggested.

"We will continue developing this pellicle, but we are willing to transfer the technology to [third-party] vendors," although so far there have been no takers.

Van den Brink also reported on progress developing chemically amplified resists (bottom) and in testing a variety of resist chemicals. Some of the resists have degraded EUV images, but Van den Brink expressed optimism that "substantial innovations will come."

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- Rick Merritt
??EE Times

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