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Proceedings Paper

An integrated solution for photomask manufacturing, handling, and storage at 65 nm and below
Author(s): Jörg Schwitzgebel; Guangming Xiao; Barry Rockwell; Sammy Nozaki; Ali Darvish; Chris Wu
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Paper Abstract

As reticle line widths shrink and RET complexity increases, even a single sub-micron defect can reject a photomask. High-end reticle manufacturers striving for increased yield and reduced cycle times are relying on low incoming rawstock defect levels and handling via SMIF mini environments for critical manufacturing steps. However, even in SMIF compatible reticle fabs, human handling is often required to load or unload a reticle to/from a SMIF environment. In an effort to provide a fully integrated solution to manufacturing 65 nm and below photomasks, Photronics has introduced a blank inspection/management system developed by Hitachi High Technologies and Fortrend Engineering. The clustered system is capable of robotic transfers in conjunction with blank storage, inspection, and material tracking capabilities. It consists of four major systems: a horizontal mask blank transfer system with state-of-the-art blank sorting capability, an integrated Hitachi GM3000 Mask Blank Surface Inspection System, a totally self-contained and sufficient Mask Blank Storage Station, and a material logistic control software system for material management and SPC. The Fortrend Lamina sorting system has a bright light inspection module for gross particle contamination detection, and a robotic transfer module for mask exchanges between SMIF and other shipping/transport boxes employed in the mask manufacturing facilities. The clustered Hitachi inspection system is an integral part of the solution allowing for additional inspections of stored and incoming blanks by optically detecting foreign particles and pinholes. The data is transferred and stored in the Foretrend handling system control module and may be used for rawstock management and screening based on a predefined criteria. The integrated system provides a total solution to mask manufacturing challenges at 65 nm and below.

Paper Details

Date Published: 24 March 2006
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 6152, Metrology, Inspection, and Process Control for Microlithography XX, 61523H (24 March 2006); doi: 10.1117/12.657887
Show Author Affiliations
Jörg Schwitzgebel, Photronics, Inc. (United States)
Guangming Xiao, Photronics, Inc. (United States)
Barry Rockwell, Photronics, Inc. (United States)
Sammy Nozaki, Hitachi High Technologies America, Inc. (United States)
Ali Darvish, Fortrend Engineering (United States)
Chris Wu, Fortrend Engineering (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6152:
Metrology, Inspection, and Process Control for Microlithography XX
Chas N. Archie, Editor(s)

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