EUV lithography performance is improved significantly by optimizing and fine-tuning of the EUV mask. The EUV mask is an active element of the scanner optical system influencing main lithographic figure of merits such as image contrast, critical dimension uniformity (CDU), focus and overlay. The mask stack consists of Mo/Si multilayer acting as a bright field and a patterned absorber stack. In this work we will concentrate on investigation of EUV absorber. Absorber topography that is pronounced compared to the imaging wavelength of 13.5 nm, will give rise to various mask 3d effects such as shadowing or dependence of CD on feature orientation, best focus shift of different resolution structures, etc. Light interference in the absorber layer results in swinging behavior of various lithography metrics as function of the absorber height. Optimization of the mask absorber allows mitigating mask 3d effects and improving imaging performance. In particular, reduction of the absorber height mitigates the shadowing effect and relaxes requirements on Optical Proximity Correction (OPC), but can result in smaller Process Window due to lower imaging contrast and larger best focus shifts. In this work we will show results of an experimental approach to absorber height optimization. A special mask with 27 different absorber heights in the range 40-70 nm is manufactured by Toppan Photomasks. EUV reflectivity spectra are measured for the different absorber heights and an experimental swing curve is constructed. For each absorber height various resolution features are present on the mask. Lines of 27 nm and 22 nm are imaged on the wafer using the ASML EUV scanner NXE:3300B with an NA of 0.33. The experimental CD swing curve is constructed as well as HV change as a function of absorber height. The impact of the absorber height on Exposure Latitude (EL) and Dose to Size (D2S) is investigated. EL improves with increasing absorber height in some cases, however there is no clear EL gain for a 70 nm absorber compared to for example 52 nm absorber. D2S does show a clear trend through absorber height. In particular, D2S can be reduced by absorber height reduction: e.g. for 52 nm absorber D2S is 5% or 1 mJ/cm2 smaller compared to 70 nm. The experimental results are used for calibration and verification of rigorous mask 3d simulations. This knowledge is crucial for accurate OPC of production masks and allows for accurate litho simulations of EUV user cases as a basis for lithography roadmaps towards High Volume Manufacturing and High NA EUV.