In the frame of the European Medea+ 2T302 MUSCLE project, an extensive mask carriers benchmark was carried out in
order to evaluate whether some containers answer to the 65nm technology needs. Ten different containers, currently used
or expected in the future all along the mask supply chain (blank, maskhouse and fab carriers) were selected at different
steps of their life cycle (new, aged, aged & cleaned). The most critical parameters identified for analysis versus future
technologies were: automation, particle contamination, chemical contamination (organic outgassing, ionic
contamination), cleanability, ESD, airtightness and purgeability. Furthermore, experimental protocols corresponding to
suitable methods were then developed and implemented to test each criterion. The benchmark results are presented
giving a "state of the art" of mask carriers currently available and allowing a gap analysis for the tested parameters
related to future needs. This approach is detailed through the particular case of carrier contamination measurements.
Finally, this benchmark / gap analysis leads to propose advisable mask carrier specifications (and the test protocols
associated) on various key parameters which can also be taken as guidelines for a standardization perspective for the
65nm technology. This also indicates that none of tested carriers fulfills all the specifications proposed.