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New Product: New mask etcher from Applied Materials enables aggressive OPC techniques

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AMATProduct Briefing Outline: Applied Materials has launched the ‘Applied Centura' ‘Tetra III Advanced Reticle Etch' tool that enables the etching of 45nm photomasks. The Tetra III controls trench depths across quartz masks to <10Å and reduces critical dimension (CD) loss to <10nm, thus enabling the use of alternating phase shift masks (aPSM) and aggressive optical proximity correction techniques.

Problem: As the semiconductor industry continues to extend the limits of current lithography technologies, there is a growing need for photomask etching techniques that can handle the range of new materials being used.  Many of these new materials enable the use of resolution enhancement techniques, such as optical proximity correction (OPC) and alternating phase shift mask (aPSM), while meeting the needs in a single platform for all photomask etching requirements.

Solution: Tetra III is designed to enable the etching of 45nm photomasks with the ability to control trench depths across quartz masks to <10Å, and reduces critical dimension (CD) loss to <10nm.  This reduction enables the use of aPSM and aggressive optical proximity correction techniques in the most critical device layers. The system offers zero defect, high productivity etch processes for chrome, quartz, molybdenum silicon oxynitride (MoSiON) and various new materials for next generation lithography applications, according to Applied Materials. The system employs advanced processes, so that the system can etch a wide variety of masks. This minimizes dependencies on process libraries, tool operation complexities, development cycle times, and expert users.  

Applications: Mask etching of chrome, quartz, molybdenum silicon oxynitride (MoSiON) and various new materials.

Platform: The Applied Centura Tetra III system's ultra-clean and extendible platform enables customers to etch the most advanced masks with the highest yields to date.

Availability: April 2007 onwards.

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