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11 March 2002 Enhanced optical inspectability of patterned EUVL mask
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For optical inspection of Extreme Ultraviolet Lithography (EUVL) masks using Deep Ultraviolet (DUV) light, contrast from reflected light is used to form the image of the mask and detect the defects. The inspectability of a patterned mask depends on the optical properties, surface conditions and thickness of absorber and buffer layer. The issue in EUVL mask inspection is the relatively low image contrast in the inspection tool because both the EUV-reflective and EUV-absorbing regions reflect DUV light. The need of a buffer layer to protect the multilayer (ML) reflector during mask processing and defect repair necessitates two inspections for a patterned mask: one with the buffer layer on to find the defect for repair and one with the buffer layer removed to qualify a final mask. Since the ML appears bright at DUV inspection wavelengths, the buffer layer is also chosen to give high reflectivity. Therefore, the absorber reflectivity must be low enough to provide high image contrast and to avoid the edge interference effect. Recently, we have developed a surface treatment process to reduce the reflectivity of absorber layer and result in a DUV contrast approaching 90 percent. This greatly improves the optical inspectability of EUVL mask to a level similar to conventional transmission mask. In this paper, we describe the overall EUVL mask inspection strategy and present a comprehensive discussion on mask optimization in materials selection and modification for high inspectability. We report the reflectivity of Mo-Si multilayer, buffer layers using SiO2 and Ru, and absorber layers of Cr and TaN. We will demonstrate with DUV inspection images of the optimized EUVL masks that the image contrast and quality from reflected light are close to those of conventional photo-masks with transmitted light. This greatly enhanced EUVL mask inspectability will increase defect detectability for inspection tools and simplify image rendering in die-to-database inspection.
© (2002) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Ted Liang, Alan R. Stivers, Pei-yang Yan, Edita Tejnil, and Guojing Zhang "Enhanced optical inspectability of patterned EUVL mask", Proc. SPIE 4562, 21st Annual BACUS Symposium on Photomask Technology, (11 March 2002); doi: 10.1117/12.458303;


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