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New Product: Applied Materials‚?? ‚??Tetra‚?? Reticle Clean reaches >99% particle removal efficiency

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AMATProduct Briefing Outline: Applied Materials has introduced the Applied ‘Tetra’ Reticle Clean, which it claims is the industry’s only wet clean system that delivers damage-free, >99% particle removal efficiency for 32nm-and-beyond photomasks. The Tetra Reticle Clean system is said to set a new standard for productivity, offering up to four times the throughput of any competing system. 

Problem: The Applied Tetra Reticle Clean system is claimed to be the first mask cleaning system to achieve zero damage and 99 percent particle removal efficiency (PRE) on advanced masks for dry and immersion technologies. The Tetra Reticle Clean combines a mask clean chamber and a plasma dry strip and conditioning chamber on one platform to address the full range of mask cleaning challenges from photoresist strip to removing post-etch residues and particles while preserving the integrity of the photomask.

Solution: The system is unique in its streamlined mask handling, integrated dry/wet processing capabilities, and throughput at least double that of equivalent mask cleans products. The mask is handled only to enter and exit the clean chamber, where it is stripped, cleaned, rinsed, and dried without mask flipping. Tetra Reticle Clean is claimed to be the only system employing ‘Uniform Cavitation Megasonics,’ which distributes energy evenly over the entire mask surface, avoiding the damage-causing spikes generated by traditional point-source megasonic cleans. The clean chamber is designed for cleaning the front and back of the mask simultaneously, using different chemistries if necessary with no possibility of mixing. NanoDroplet Technology further enhances damage-free cleaning using an overhead nozzle designed to create uniform high-momentum "nanodroplets" and kinetic energy. Sulfur-free stripping followed by advanced cleaning chemistry outperforms standard chemistries in preserving optical properties of the mask and preventing haze formation.

Applications: Integrated dry/wet processing for all mask types and feature sizes through 32nm and beyond.

Platform: Uses proprietary ‘Uniform Cavitation Megasonics’ (UCM) technology as well as ‘NanoDroplet’ technology. The system can be configured with multiple processing modules, offering mask makers the capacity to eliminate processing bottlenecks and reduce cycle times.

Availability: April 2008 onwards.


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