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Mask absorber for next generation EUV lithography

: Wu, M.; Thakare, D.; Marneffe, J.-F. de; Jaenen, P.; Souriau, L.; Opsomer, K.; Soulié, J.-P.; Erdmann, A.; Mesilhy, H.; Naujok, P.; Foltin, M.; Soltwisch, V.; Saadeh, Q.; Philipsen, V.


Naulleau, Patrick P. (Ed.) ; Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers -SPIE-, Bellingham/Wash.:
Extreme Ultraviolet Lithography 2020 : 21-25 September 2020, Online Only
Bellingham, WA: SPIE, 2020 (Proceedings of SPIE 11517)
ISBN: 978-1-5106-3842-6
ISBN: 978-1-5106-3843-3
Paper 1151706, 15 S.
Conference "Extreme Ultraviolet Lithography" <2020, Online>
Fraunhofer IISB ()

Novel mask absorber designs are calling attention of the EUVL community due to their ability to mitigate mask 3D effects. Material selection is part of such optimization [1]. In this paper we propose several candidates as novel EUV lithography mask absorbers, namely TaTeN, Ru-Ta and Pt-Mo alloys. The choice of these materials is based on their theoretical performance evaluated by EUV imaging simulation based on their complex refractive index N(λ) = n(λ) +ik(λ), where the optical constants n and k relate to the phase velocity and to the absorption of an electromagnetic radiation with a wavelength λ, respectively. The materials are deposited as thin films on Si substrate with an additional Ru layer to mimic the cap of multilayer mirror (MLM) on the real mask. The experimental n and k values are determined by analyzing EUV reflectivity data obtained using a 13.5 nm synchrotron EUV radiation. The imaging simulation presented in this paper consists of calculation of several imaging metrics like non-telecentricity, normalized image log-slop (NILS), and threshold-to-size for specific use cases using the novel absorber. It also compares the proposed materials to the reference TaBN absorber. TaTeN shows higher absorption than TaBN and refraction closer to 1, which improves phase matching for a high k absorber. The refractive index of Ru-Ta and Pt-Mo alloys exhibits a large difference to that of air and provides the required phased shift of attenuated phase shift masks [2]. The characterizations of these materials target the requirements of an EUVL mask: durability for mask cleaning, mask lifetime and etchablity for mask patterning. The stability is first tested against several standard mask cleaning solutions by beaker test up to 24 hours with the film structure monitored by X-ray reflectivity analysis. The samples are also exposed to hydrogen plasma to imitate the working environment in a EUV scanner. Material integrity is checked with Rutherford backscattering spectroscopy before and after the exposure. Concerning material patterning, chemical reactive ion etch is applied for preliminary tests. A proper etch recipe is found for TaTeN with good etch rate (about 60 nm/min) and good selectivity to Ru underlayer (Ru etch is ignorable).