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193nm reticle haze: the dirty little secret and its ultimate solution?

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Oleg Kishkovich, Anatoly Grayfer & Frank V. Belanger, Entegris, Inc., Franklin, MA, USA


The cost of rapid defect (haze) formation on reticles can be exorbitant and represents an acute problem in fabs with DUV lithography tools. Reticle degradation occurs when a cloudy residue forms and causes transmission loss through photomask and pellicle. What is to blame? There are two schools of thought: the firt blames mask manufacturing processes, including cleaning procedures for the risk haze formation; the second attributes haze formation to the presence and concentration level fo Airborne Molecular Contamination (AMC) in the manufacturing, who expend great effort to endure their products are clean and free of defects when shipped and first used in customer fabs, have been reluctant to admit that the problem lies with a manufacturing flaw in their product. Though extensive research has been carried out to identify and mitigate potential sources of molecular contamination, none have achieved complete success.
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