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Mask Conference Highlights Progress in Lithography

A 2015 conference, SPIE Photomask Technology, showcased the progress being made in the field of making masks and lithography technology.

The conference is a forum to present advances in technology, particularly those that impact the semiconductor lithography industry. From DEEP UV photoresist to ArF photoresist, technologies bearing on photomasking is covered in depth at this annual meeting.

Larry J. Levinson, who is the senior director of technology research at GlobalFoundries, delivered the keynote presentation on lithography and mask challenges.

He told attendees that a perfect mask is not needed, but large defects are not acceptable. The backside of photomasks must be kept clean, and optical proximity correction errors must be controlled.

Levinson’s presentation explained that the use of optical multiple patterning has resulted in little increase in write time per mask, but there is still a large increase in the write time for an entire mask set owing to the increase in the number of masks per set.

As a result, critical dimension control and registration on masks must be done carefully, according to Levinson’s research and writing.

Jan van Schoot, senior principal architect at ASML Holding, and Andreas Pecher, senior vice president of semiconductor metrology systems at Carl Zeiss also spoke at the conference, among other presenters who spoke, discussing EUV scanners and how to make EUV work. More information can be found on the SPIE website.

The SPIE Photomask Technology conference is returning in September 2016, offering another opportunity for those within the industry to get together and discuss technology like DEEP UV photoresist and masking. This is an opportunity to learn more about lithography and the innovation present in the field, as technology improves and research and development continue.

2016 conference topics will include mask data preparation; substrates, materials, pellicles; patterning tools and processes; resist and resist processing; etch techniques; metrology; inspection; repair; cleaning, contamination, and haze; and simulation of mask making.

It will also cover anamorphic masks for High-NA EUV, including lithograph, OPC, and SMO models, magnification interactions, impact of half-field reticles, and stitching for mask making and design.

The conference will cover emerging and alternate mask technologies, EUV pellicles, and the mask business.

The information from the 2015 conference shows the progress in lithography that has already been made — the 2016 conference is sure to showcase even more, with the great advances that have been made in the industry since the 2015 event.