At the Photomask Technology Conference 2009 in Monterey/CA Carl
Zeiss introduces the next generation of their actinic AIMS™ mask qualification
system. AIMS™ 32-193i emulates the imaging of photomasks with leading-edge
193nm immersion scanners for the 32nm node and beyond. The first delivery to
a leading edge customer is scheduled for September 2009.
The Aerial Image Measurement Technology from Carl Zeiss has been significantly
advanced to enable accurate emulation of 32nm lithography techniques such as
Double Patterning Technology, Source Mask Optimization and Computational Lithography.
Complex mask designs together with tighter CD specifications result in new
challenges for photomask qualification with respect to repeatability and image
quality. The AIMS™ 32-193i has been specifically designed for a CD repeatability
specification below 0.25nm at wafer level equivalent to 1.00nm at mask level.
“Based on the broad expertise of Carl Zeiss with scanner lens technologies
we introduced a new LITO™ grade optics at AIMS™ 32-193i ensuring
scanner- like imaging performance” said Dr. Oliver Kienzle, Managing Director
of Carl Zeiss Semiconductor Metrology Systems division. “The system now
includes interferometric stage technology for further accuracy in mask positioning.”
An advanced illumination system allows the emulation of all kinds of 193nm
illumination settings. For the first time in AIMS™ history variable transmission
in the illumination pupil is now available with AIMS™ 32-193i. Whilst
previous AIMS™ generations were limited to a binary intensity distribution
by geometric sigma aperture description the illumination scheme can now be defined
with a varying grey-scale intensity as in the most advanced scanners. Such illumination
schemes can be flexibly adjusted to different intensity distributions within
Thus, the AIMS™ 32-193i enables accurate mask defect disposition and
repair qualification for 32nm masks and ensures the introduction of upcoming
lithography technologies such as Double Patterning, Computational Lithography
(Inverse Litho Technology) and Source Mask Optimization (SMO).