Technologists at SEMATECH have successfully
demonstrated world-class results in low defect density for mask blanks
used in extreme ultraviolet lithography (EUVL) - pushing the technology
another significant step toward readiness for advanced manufacturing.
In demonstrating a world's best defect density of 0.04/cm2 for
EUV mask blanks - with a total of only 8 defects combined from the
substrate and the multilayer - the SEMATECH team surpassed the
consortium's published commercial EUV mask blank roadmap target for the
end of 2007. The roadmap was first developed in 2002 to chart
SEMATECH's multiyear strategy to achieve the defect-free mask blanks
needed for high volume EUVL manufacturing.
The technical achievement was reported at SEMATECH's Mask
Blank Development Center (MBDC), one of several major R&D
centers within the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering (CNSE)
of the University at Albany.
"SEMATECH's comprehensive program to provide
manufacturing-ready infrastructure for EUV lithography includes a major
focus on the very difficult challenge of mask blanks," said Michael
Lercel, director of Lithography at SEMATECH. "We've met and exceeded
this critical milestone, and we will continue to push ahead on this and
other components that our members and the industry will need for
successful EUV lithography manufacturing."
"The success of the partnership between SEMATECH and the
UAlbany NanoCollege is further illustrated by the latest breakthroughs
made by SEMATECH researchers and engineers working at CNSE's Albany
NanoTech Complex," said Dr. James G. Ryan, professor of nanoscience and
associate vice president of technology at CNSE. "Advances such as these
are critical to the development and commercialization of EUVL
technology, which is vital for the manufacturing of future
nanoelectronics devices that will impact all areas of society."
To achieve manufacturing capability, EUV lithography must
clear several technology hurdles including mask blanks, reticle
handling, sources, and resists. The mask blanks are the starting
material used to make the reticle that contains the device pattern, and
are particularly challenging because of the need to accurately deposit
more than 80 layers to form the multilayer reflector - while keeping
the mask blank defect-free. Low defect mask blanks are essential for
The SEMATECH milestone was achieved through the combination of
efforts in multilayer deposition, substrate cleaning, improved
substrates from suppliers, and state-of-the-art mask blank defect
inspection capability. SEMATECH's previously announced partnership with
Lasertec Corporation of Japan provided the inspection capability to
find defects as small as 53nm on the mask blanks, which was
instrumental in providing cycles of learning to reduce defects.
SEMATECH established the Mask Blank Development Center in
Albany in 2003, as the world's only research facility devoted to
bringing together the critical capabilities needed to enable
manufacturable EUV mask blanks.
"This mask blank achievement is a result of the great
cooperation of the MBDC team. The Center's unique structure - with core
participation from key partners such as Lasertec, New York's Veeco
Instruments, and the glass material suppliers - provides the entire
infrastructure needed to drive defects to single digit levels," said
Chan-Uk Jeon, the SEMATECH MBDC program manager. "We and our commercial
partners are committed to keeping this vital effort on track."
For 20 years, SEMATECH®, the global consortium of
leading semiconductor manufacturers, has set global direction, enabled
flexible collaboration, and bridged strategic R&D to
manufacturing. Today, we continue accelerating the next technology
revolution with our nanoelectronics and emerging technology partners.