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Proceedings Paper

Extending CO2 cryogenic aerosol cleaning for advanced optical and EUV mask cleaning
Author(s): Ivin Varghese; Charles W. Bowers; Mehdi Balooch
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Paper Abstract

Cryogenic CO2 aerosol cleaning being a dry, chemically-inert and residue-free process is used in the production of optical lithography masks. It is an attractive cleaning option for the mask industry to achieve the requirement for removal of all printable soft defects and repair debris down to the 50nm printability specification. In the technique, CO2 clusters are formed by sudden expansion of liquid from high to almost atmospheric pressure through an optimally designed nozzle orifice. They are then directed on to the soft defects or debris for momentum transfer and subsequent damage free removal from the mask substrate. Unlike aggressive acid based wet cleaning, there is no degradation of the mask after processing with CO2, i.e., no critical dimension (CD) change, no transmission/phase losses, or chemical residue that leads to haze formation. Therefore no restriction on number of cleaning cycles is required to be imposed, unlike other cleaning methods. CO2 aerosol cleaning has been implemented for several years as full mask final clean in production environments at several state of the art mask shops. Over the last two years our group reported successful removal of all soft defects without damage to the fragile SRAF features, zero adders (from the cleaning and handling mechanisms) down to a 50nm printability specification. In addition, CO2 aerosol cleaning is being utilized to remove debris from Post-RAVE repair of hard defects in order to achieve the goal of no printable defects. It is expected that CO2 aerosol cleaning can be extended to extreme ultraviolet (EUV) masks. In this paper, we report advances being made in nozzle design qualification for optimum snow properties (size, velocity and flux) using Phase Doppler Anemometry (PDA) technique. In addition the two new areas of focus for CO2 aerosol cleaning i.e. pellicle glue residue removal on optical masks, and ruthenium (Ru) film on EUV masks are presented. Usually, the residue left over after the pellicle has been removed from returned masks (after long term usage/exposure in the wafer fab), requires a very aggressive SPM wet clean, that drastically reduces the available budget for mask properties (CD, phase/transmission). We show that CO2aerosol cleaning can be utilized to remove the bulk of the glue residue effectively, while preserving the mask properties. This application required a differently designed nozzle to impart the required removal force for the sticky glue residue. A new nozzle was developed and qualified that resulted in PRE in the range of 92-98%. Results also include data on a patterned mask that was exposed in a lithography stepper in a wafer production environment. On EUV mask, our group has experimentally demonstrated that 50 CO2 cleaning cycles of Ru film on the EUV Front-side resulted in no appreciable reflectivity change, implying that no degradation of the Ru film occurs.

Paper Details

Date Published: 13 October 2011
PDF: 13 pages
Proc. SPIE 8166, Photomask Technology 2011, 816615 (13 October 2011); doi: 10.1117/12.896962
Show Author Affiliations
Ivin Varghese, Eco-Snow Systems, Rave N.P. Inc. (United States)
Charles W. Bowers, Eco-Snow Systems, Rave N.P. Inc. (United States)
Mehdi Balooch, Eco-Snow Systems, Rave N.P. Inc. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8166:
Photomask Technology 2011
Wilhelm Maurer; Frank E. Abboud, Editor(s)

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