SPM (Sulfuric acid peroxide mixture) which has been extensively used for acid cleaning of photomask and wafer has serious drawback for EUV mask cleaning. It shows severe film loss of tantalum-based absorber layers and limited removal efficiency of EUV-generated carbon contaminants on EUV mask surface.
Here, we introduce such novel cleaning chemicals developed for EUV mask as almost film loss free for various layers of the mask and superior carbon removal performance. Combinatorial chemical screening methods allowed us to screen several hundred combinations of various chemistries and additives under several different process conditions of temperature and time, eventually leading to development of the best chemistry selections for EUV mask cleaning.
Recently, there have been many activities for the development of EUV pellicle, driven by ASML and core EUV scanner customer companies. It is still important to obtain film-loss free cleaning chemicals because cleaning cycle of EUV mask should be much faster than that of optic mask mainly due to EUV pellicle lifetime. More frequent cleaning, combined with the adoption of new materials for EUV masks, necessitates that mask manufacturers closely examine the performance change of EUV masks during cleaning process.
We have investigated EUV mask quality changes and film losses during 50 cleaning cycles using new chemicals as well as particle and carbon contaminant removal characteristics. We have observed that the performance of new chemicals developed is superior to current SPM or relevant cleaning chemicals for EUV mask cleaning and EUV mask lifetime elongation.