SPIE Advanced Lithography 2014
Conference paper

E-beam inspection of EUV mask defects: To etch or not to etch?

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EUV Lithography is aimed to be inserted into mainstream production for sub-20nm pattern fabrication. Unlike conventional optical lithography, frequent defectivity monitors (adders, repeaters etc.) are required in EUV lithography. Due to sub-20nm pattern and defect dimensions e-beam inspection of critical pattern areas is essential for yield monitor. In previous work we showed sub-10nm defect detection sensitivity1 on patterned resist wafers. In this work we report 8-10x improvement in scan rates of etched patterns compared to resist patterns without loss in defect detection sensitivity. We observed good etch transfer of sub-10nm resist features. A combination of smart scan strategies with improved etched pattern scan rates can further improve throughput of e-beam inspection. An EUV programmed defect mask with Line/Space, Contact patterns was used to evaluate printability of defects and defect detection (Die-Die and Die-Database) capability of the e-beam inspection tool. Defect inspection tool parameters such as averaging, threshold value were varied to assess its detection capability and were compared to previously obtained results on resist patterns. © 2014 SPIE.