New techniques in ebeam mask repairs

  • Highlights

    The ZEISS MeRiT neXT mask repair technology follows two strategies to meet the demands of tomorrow‘s lithography:

    (1) The required repair quality in terms of resolution and placement accuracy is being addressed by an updated and enhanced ebeam platform including an actively controlled mini-environment.

    (2) Minimum repair size as well as new and challenging mask technologies are being handled by an increased number of processes.

  • More Information

    The ebeam mask repair system ZEISS MeRiT neXT is designed with completely replaced components.


    Low energy column
    The ZEISS low energy column enables the repair of minimal transparent and opaque defects of any geometry on all mask types (classic and new generation) such as binary, MoSi, OMOG, HD/HT PSM as well as EUV masks.


    Enhanced selectivity
    The redesigned precursor cabinet enables a high selectivity for the repair processes. The recipe based operation allows user specific extensions for upcoming mask types.


    Rapid Probe Microscope (RPM)
    The previous AFM solution was replaced by a novel Rapid Probe Microscope (RPM) to achieve unparalleled throughput and reliability. The RPM operates at SEM speed level.


    New stage
    ZEISS MeRiT neXT has a faster stage with an improved XY repeatability and increased throughput.

    The redesigned gas delivery in combination with the significantly low beam energy leads to a higher resolution.


    All types of opaque defects on photomasks can be completely removed by the ebeam repair process. This is achieved free of collateral substrate damage and with unprecedented precision. The implemented detection of secondary electrons and energy  selective detection of backscattered electrons provide a highly sensitive way of process control, assuring damage free repairs.


    Any influences on the surface quality and substrate transmission are well below printing at the wafer level, which can be validated with ZEISS AIMS.

    Opaque and phase-shifting layers can be generated. The overhead time for switching between etching and deposition is virtually zero; both applications can be used without restrictions on sequence and duration. For opaque layers on binary masks the same material is used as for the initial absorber.


    For phase-shifting masks with MoSi 6 % a transmission and phase shift matching process has been developed by ZEISS. This proprietary process allows tuning of phase and transmission independently following specific customer requirements. The former PSM deposition process has been further refined to enable bulk transmission values of close to 100 %. Hence, an optional quartz deposition module could be made available on demand.

  • Video
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  • Brochure

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    ZEISS MeRiT neXT

    Revolutionary new low energy e-beam mask repair

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