18 March 2016 EUV lithography imaging using novel pellicle membranes
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Abstract
EUV mask protection against defects during use remains a challenge for EUV lithography. A stand-off protective membrane – a pellicle – is targeted to prevent yield losses in high volume manufacturing during handling and exposure, just as it is for 193nm lithography. The pellicle is thin enough to transmit EUV exposure light, yet strong enough to remain intact and hold any particles out of focus during exposure. The development of pellicles for EUV is much more challenging than for 193nm lithography for multiple reasons including: high absorption of most materials at EUV wavelength, pump-down sequences in the EUV vacuum system, and exposure to high intensity EUV light. To solve the problems of transmission and film durability, various options have been explored. In most cases a thin core film is considered, since the deposition process for this is well established and because it is the simplest option. The transmission specification typically dictates that membranes are very thin (~50nm or less), which makes both fabrication and film mechanical integrity difficult. As an alternative, low density films (e.g. including porosity) will allow thicker membranes for a given transmission specification, which is likely to improve film durability. The risk is that the porosity could influence the imaging. At imec, two cases of pellicle concepts based on reducing density have been assessed : (1) 3D-patterned SiN by directed self-assembly (DSA), and (2) carbon nanomaterials such as carbon nanotubes (CNT) and carbon nanosheets (CNS). The first case is based on SiN membranes that are 3D-patterned by Directed Self Assembly (DSA). The materials are tested relative to the primary specifications: EUV transmission and film durability. A risk assessment of printing performance is provided based on simulations of scattered energy. General conclusions on the efficacy of various approaches will provided.
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Ivan Pollentier, Johannes Vanpaemel, Jae Uk Lee, Christoph Adelmann, Houman Zahedmanesh, Cedric Huyghebaert, Emily E. Gallagher, "EUV lithography imaging using novel pellicle membranes", Proc. SPIE 9776, Extreme Ultraviolet (EUV) Lithography VII, 977620 (18 March 2016); doi: 10.1117/12.2220031; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2220031
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