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Carl Zeiss Ships First PROVE System

Photonics.com
Sep 2010
JENA, Germany, and MAKUHARI, Japan, Sept. 14, 2010 — Carl Zeiss recently reported the delivery of the first PROVE Registration and Overlay Metrology System for photomasks to NuFlare Technology, the world leading supplier of mask writers based on electron-beam technology.

“We are pleased to receive the first Carl Zeiss registration tool,” said Fumiaki Shigemitsu, director of NuFlare Technology. “The excellent resolution and the unprecedented measurement precision of PROVE are inevitable to develop and optimize our latest generation e-beam mask writers, and enables us to speed up our own tool roadmap.”

After three years development time, the first PROVE system gained factory acceptance and was shipped to NuFlare in Japan. PROVE is designed to measure image placement and critical dimensions on photomasks with subnanometer repeatability and accuracy. The newly developed system distinguishes through its 193-nm optics with superior resolution.

For Carl Zeiss, the new registration system perfectly completes the portfolio of mask metrology, review and repair tools. “The first delivery of a PROVE system is an important milestone in the project. With NuFlare as first customer, we can establish a close interlink between the latest generation registration measurement and e-beam mask writers. Mask makers and wafer fabs will significantly benefit from the resulting masks with lower registration errors,” said Oliver Kienzle, managing director of Carl Zeiss’ semiconductor metrology systems division.

The key component of PROVE is the diffraction-limited, high-resolution imaging optics operating at 193 nm – corresponding to at-wavelength metrology for the majority of current and future photomask applications. It provides flexible illumination for maximum contrast imaging and enables “in-die” pattern placement analysis on production pattern.

The open concept together with the use of 193-nm wavelength enables a higher NA for pellicle-free applications, including extreme ultraviolet (EUV) masks.

For more information, visit: www.smt.zeiss.com




GLOSSARY
illumination
The general term for the application of light to a subject. It should not be used in place of the specific quantity illuminance.
metrology
The science of measurement, particularly of lengths and angles.
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