FEI Releases First-Ever DualBeam Photomask Repair System for 65 nm Node

Sep 13, 2004

Combined With FEI's SNP XT With Rapid CD(TM), Mask Makers Now Have an Open, Total Repair Solution for Next-generation Lithography Technologies

FEI Company (Nasdaq: FEIC) has released the industry's first-ever DualBeam(TM) mask repair system designed to repair photolithography mask defects for the 65 nm node. Combining both a focused ion beam (FIB) column and an environmental scanning electron microscope (ESEM(TM)) in a single system, the new Accura(TM) XT+ is a future-safe solution that can accommodate both today's photomasks and extend to a broad set of next-generation lithography technologies including EUV reflective, LEEPL/Stencil, Nanoimprint, CPL, and new absorber stacks.

The Accura XT+ contains a robust list of performance-enhancing features. A new VisIONary(TM) FIB column provides smaller spot size and more accurate beam placement for both imaging and repair. FEI's patented environmental SEM technology enables e-beam repair of leading-edge 65 nm photomask types and will play a major role in future lithography nodes, while also providing high-resolution e-beam imaging. FEI's ESEM technology has the advantage of eliminating the adverse charging effects of standard SEMs. The system also features an optical microscope for easy mask navigation and global alignment. The Accura XT+ delivers clean, high transmission repairs with excellent edge placement on today's demanding photomasks designed for 65 nm production.

When used in combination with FEI's SNP XT stylus nanoprofilometer with Rapid CD(TM), manufacturers of photomasks gain a highly compelling mask repair solution. The SNP XT rapidly identifies and maps mask defects and confirms repair by acquiring detailed 3D topographical data. The combination of the two tools enables accurate alternating aperture phase shift (AAPSM) mask repair.

"The Accura XT+ builds on FEI's leadership in providing the mask industry with advanced mask repair solutions," said Michel Epsztein, senior vice president and general manager of FEI's CMD division. "The Accura XT+ is built on FEI's flagship wafer fab platform, utilizing the latest technologies for flexibility and reliability in a DualBeam configuration. Fully prepared for future mask generations, this latest addition to the Accura product family will enable manufacturers to continue saving thousands of dollars per mask by eliminating scrapped masks and additional production time, and to reduce delivery time to customers."

Also introduced with the Accura XT+ is CAD Copy(TM), a software upgrade designed to boost the system's powerful Pattern Copy software. The software package enables the repair of previously irreparable defects on single die masks and accesses archived CAD data from mask writer tools to generate highly accurate repair bitmaps. CAD Copy has an open modular software architecture that can support all mask data formats and accommodate future expansion as new protocols are adopted.

Source: FEI Company

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