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22 March 2012 Investigation of EUV haze defect: molecular behaviors of mask cleaning chemicals on EUV mask surfaces
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Abstract
Photo-induced defects (or haze defects) on 193nm optic masks (haze defects) have been a serious problem not only to reticle engineers working for mask manufacturing and handling but also to photo-lithography engineers. The most widely accepted explanation of the root causes of haze defects is the cleaning chemical residues remaining on the mask surface and unavoidable outgassed molecules that outgas from pellicle materials when exposed to 193nm radiation. These have been significant challenges for reticle cleaning engineers who need to use cleaning chemicals whose residues do not lead to progressive defect formation on the mask and to find improved materials to minimize pellicle outgassing. It is assumed that contamination generation on EUV masks would have a higher probability than on optic masks, primarily since EUV masks are not protected by a pellicle and amorphous carbon films can accumulate during exposure to EUV light. While there is potential to mitigate the generation of carbon contamination by improving the exposure tool environment and removing carbon films using in-situ atomic hydrogen cleaning, it is not yet clear whether the reaction of mask cleaning chemicals to EUV radiation will lead to creation of progressive defects on EUV mask surfaces. With the work to being done it has been observed that carbon contamination on EUV masks dominates any effects of solvent chemicals under normal environmental or exposure conditions (from atmospheric pressure up to a vacuum level of 10-6 Torr) during EUV exposure. However, it is still unknown whether residual cleaning chemicals will provide a nucleus for progressive defect formation during exposure. This lack of understanding needs to be addressed by the industry as EUV masks are expected to undergo more frequent cleaning cycles. In this work, we will report on an investigation of the molecular behavior of cleaning chemicals on EUV mask surfaces during EUV exposure. Movement (e.g., migration or aggregation) of cleaning chemical molecules near EUV exposure spots on the top surface and beneath the mask will be examined under high vacuum (~10-8 Torr). We will also investigate whether EUV exposure can trigger the evaporation of cleaning chemical residues from the EUV mask surface, possibly contaminating the exposure environment. Better understanding of the influences of the mask cleaning chemicals during exposure, coupled with knowledge about mask tolerance and patterning performance affected by the cleaning chemicals, should enable the proper selection of mask cleaning processes and chemicals to meet EUV requirements.
© (2012) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Jaehyuck Choi, Steve Novak, Yudhishthir Kandel, Greg Denbeaux, Han-shin Lee, Andy Ma, and Frank Goodwin "Investigation of EUV haze defect: molecular behaviors of mask cleaning chemicals on EUV mask surfaces", Proc. SPIE 8322, Extreme Ultraviolet (EUV) Lithography III, 83220S (22 March 2012); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.916499
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