This paper provides a thorough experimental assessment of the implementation of vote-taking, and discusses its pro’s and con’s. Based on N=4 vote-taking, we demonstrate the capability to mitigate different types of mask defects. Additionally, we found that blending different mask images brings clear benefit to the imaging, and provide experimental confirmation of improved local CDU and intra-field CDU, reduction of stochastic failures, improved overlay, ... Finally, we perform dedicated throughput calculations based on the qualification performance of ASML’s NXE:3400B scanner.
This work must be seen in the light of an open-minded search for options to optimally enable and implement EUV lithography. While defect-free masks and EUV pellicles are without argument essential for most of the applications, we investigate whether some applications could benefit from vote-taking.