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Behind the Mask

These articles report on the research and manufacturing work being conducted in the photomask and reticle community.

(Behind the Mask): Performing 3-D metrology and advanced repairs on leading-edge photomasks
A survey of advanced photomask repair and metrology challenges discusses a system that combines stylus nanoprofilometry, focused ion beam, and electron-beam techniques. (August/September 2005)

(Behind the Mask) Using OASIS to contain the size of data files in the manufacture of photomasks
Experiments in the use of OASIS to represent mask-writing data indicate that the new format reduces the size of both flat and hierarchical data files.
(August/September 2004)

(Behind the Mask) Meeting airborne molecular contamination challenges in laser pattern generators
An OEM and a vendor specializing in lithography molecular-contamination control develop an air-filtration system to combat airborne molecular contamination in maskmaking tools.
(January/February 2004)

(Behind the Mask) Studying chemically amplified resists and top antireflective coatings in photomask fabrication
Partitioning tests on photomasks involving two different chemically amplified resists demonstrate how to increase CD uniformity and decrease the incidence of missing-chrome defects.
(August/September 2003)

(Behind the Mask) Using simulation-based technology to qualify alt PSM for 193-nm lithography
Defect printability experiments have validated the suitability of a software-based simulation system for next-generation semiconductor applications. (January/February 2003)

(Behind the Mask) Streamlining the front-end reticle fabrication process by improving mask ordering
A software package that functions in tandem with SEMI specification P10 helps a mask supplier to automate the mask-ordering process, thereby improving cycle times and mask quality.
(June 2002)

(Behind the Mask) Implementing simulation-based mask-qualification technology
Simulation-based mask qualification provides data on wafer CD, the impact of defects on linewidth control, the quality of mask repairs, and feature specs without having to print a wafer. (February 2002)

(Behind the Mask) Optimizing polymers to increase pellicle lifetime and transmission for 157-nm lithography
The search for 157-nm pellicle materials has led to the development of fluoropolymers with sufficient transparency to produce transmissions >95%, but the problem of photochemical darkening remains. (June 2001)

(Behind the Mask) Examining the challenges posed by NGL photomask fabrication
Revolutionary changes in next-generation lithography masks are being driven by the need for small CD and image-placement accuracy, novel substrates, and the control of subresolution defects. (February 2001)

(Behind the Mask)) Comparing software and hardware simulation tools on an embedded-attenuated PSM
Virtual Stepper and aerial image measurements systems can analyze defect-induced CD error as a function of various isolated defect sizes on a production mask. (June 2000)

(Behind the Mask) Investigating defect inspection and sensitivity analysis for MoSi-based PSMs
Because MoSi's optical properties are significantly different from conventional chromium (Cr)-based materials, special MoSi defect inspection and characterization are necessary. (April 2000)

(Behind the Mask) Integrating a CD SEM into an optical system for photomask metrology operations
The limitations of optical tools for small-dimension and phase-shift mask measurement dictate that photomask manufacturers consider a dual-tool metrology strategy. (Feb 2000)

(Behind the Mask) Managing reticle quality for subwavelength lithography
RQM aids in the understanding of reticle defect printability and optimizes return on investment by creating a reticle-sampling plan that takes into account device production parameters. (September 2000)


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