An employee in the SMT clean room with a photomask in her hand
Photomask repair solutions

ZEISS MeRiT systems Photomasks featuring zero printable defects by e-beam based mask repair

Scaling trends towards smaller technology nodes and feature sizes are continuing and EUV technology is becoming increasingly important in the semiconductor industry. Associated complexity in mask manufacturing raises significantly and with them the necessity to repair defective high-end photomasks. With MeRiT® ZEISS offers optimized solutions for the repair of all kinds of photomasks enabling the repair of smallest defects.

  • Enables defect-free mask manufacturing
A openedLaptop and several papers

Pushing the limits of EUV mask repair

Journal of Micro/Nanopatterning, Materials, and Metrology I Vol. 20 · No. 3 | September 2021

New scientific paper about eBeam based mask repair of defects on EUV masks.
Authors: Tilmann Heil, Michael Waldow, Renzo Capelli, Horst Schneider, Laura Ahmels, Fan Tu, Johannes Schöneberg, Hubertus Marbacha


  • A photomask with structures and defects

High precision e-beam mask repair

ZEISS MeRiT systems represent the state-of-the-art tools for repair of high-end photomask based on focused electron beam induced processing. The systems enable the repair of ultra-small defects by high-end electron beam columns optimized for lowest energies. Transparent and opaque defects of many different geometries on binary, phase-shift and EUV masks as well as nanoimprint templates can be repaired. The modular software of the system in conjunction with the pattern copy feature delivers highest degree of automation. The recipe based operation provides a high flexibility and allows user specific extensions for upcoming mask types.

Down below you find the variety of the current MeRiT® systems

  • ZEISS MeRiT® LE to repair defect Photomasks

    MeRiT® LE Low energy technology for ultra-small defects

    ZEISS MeRiT® LE  represents the next generation repair tool for high-end photomasks, particularly focusing on EUV repairs.

    • It features a decreased minimum repair size.
    • Improved edge placement accuracy to address the increased number and complexity of pattern defects on high-end photomasks.
    • The re-designed tool platform is based on focused electron beam induced processing and provides highest repair resolution.
    • It is equipped with a new electron beam column optimized for lowest electron energies and improved serviceability.
  • ZEISS MeRiT neXT to repair photomasks

    MeRiT® neXT

    State-of-the art e-beam photomask repair

    MeRiT® neXT  tool is the industry standard for high-end photomask repairs.

    • By using ZEISS electron beam columns it enables the repair of smallest defects on many different types of photomasks.
    • Clear and opaque defects can be repaired based on exposure with focused electron beams and adsorption of precursor molecules.
  • ZEISS MeRiT MG neo to repair photomasks

    MeRiT® MG neo

    Optimized repair tool for mature nodes

    Using proven and state-of-the-art components, ZEISS presents the MeRiT® MG neo as a solution for the needs of the cost driven mature market of 45nm node and above.

    • The newly developed platform with a small foot print enables the MeRiT® MG neo to operate as a replacement tool even in long-established production sites with limited space
    • Designed to work at lower maintenance and operational costs the MeRiT® MG neo is optimized for mature technology nodes
    • A user friendly, workflow orientated software with the MeRiT® wizard provides the look-and-feel of other High-end ZEISS Repair systems
  • MeRiT® neXT BE

    Optimized repair solution for mature nodes

    ZEISS MeRiT neXT BE is a photomask repair solution optimized for the mature mask market. It addresses photomask repair down to the 32 nm technology node and is based on the MeRiT® neXT tool platform. The MeRiT® neXT BE is a perfect entry to eBeam mask repair, as it offers a wide range of upgrade opportunities to extend the capabilities

    • The cost-effective solution allows for transparent and opaque defect repairs on DUV masks
    • The ZEISS MeRiT next BE is based on proven SW/HW architectures of the current MeRiT® tools and use of state-of-the-art components
    • The modular tool platform allows upgrade packages according to customer’s need to higher repair performance and to address further mask types
  • Digital Solutions for ZEISS repair systeme

    Digital Solutions

    Running on the computational engine FAVOR®

    The FAVOR® platform enables productivity and reliability enhancement through intelligent automation. ZEISS offers several automation applications. All listed solutions are supported by the MeRiT® technology.

    • Advanced Repair Center (ARC) — it is a back end of line manufacturing enterprise solution that targets productivity, costs saving and shorter turnaround time through the use of intelligent automation.
    • MeRiT® AutoAnalysis (MAA) — it is a fully automated analysis solution for photomask repair workflows on MeRiT® that increases productivity and optimzies capacity.
A section of a photomask with defects to repair
A section of a photomask whose defective structures have been repaired

Defect-free mask manufacturing — Smallest defect repair enables flawless mask production

It is essential to manufacture defect-free masks, as every defect on the photomask will be printed multiple times on the wafer resulting in defective microchips. As almost every mask has defects, a reliable and effective repair technology is needed. Gas-assisted electron-beam (e-beam) lithography enables the repair of every kind of defect on all kinds of masks. Especially for very small features sizes as they occur on EUV masks, MeRiT® is the only available solution on the market that is able to reliably repair these defects.

How to Repair High-end EUV Photomasks

Watch the new video about ZEISS MeRiT® LE


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