Nanomachining is a new technique for repairing photomask defects. The advantages of this technique are no substrate damage, precise edge placement position and Z height accuracy when compared with current Laser zapper or FIB GAE repair techniques. This technique can be applied to any type of opaque defects at any type of film materials and quartz bump defects on Alternating Aperture Phase Sifting Masks (AAPSM). Furthermore, these characteristics enable complex pattern repairs of most advanced photomasks for 193nm lithography and enables iterative repair to achieve improved printing performance when analyzed with an AIMS 193nm tool. Dai Nippon Printing Co., Ltd. (DNP) has been producing AAPSMs in mass production for quite some time. The standard type of AAPSMs manufactured has been etched quartz, single trench with an undercut structure. On this structure, there is a potential for quartz defects underneath the chrome overhang based on the combination of dry and wet etching to create the undercut. For this study, we fabricated this kind of designed quartz defects and repaired them using the nanomachining system. These types of defects are particularly difficult to repair perfectly because they exist underneath the chrome overhang. We will show some options to achieve better printing results through the repair of these kinds of defects.
In this report, we confirmed basic performance of this technique such as edge placement accuracy, Z height accuracy and AIMS printability. Additionally, we also tried to repair some complex defects such as quartz defects of AAPSM, quartz defects of CPL mask and oversized Serifs for application options. We will show these nanomachining repairs with evaluation results of printing performance simulated by the AIMS 193nm tool.