Infinitesima announced today that its groundbreaking probe microscope has been integrated into the ZEISS MeRiT neXT photomask repair tool. Masks have to be defect-free, and therefore defects have to be repaired. Traditionally Scanning Electron Microscopes (SEM) have been used to image defects that have been identified through optical inspection tools. Infinitesima’s Rapid Probe Microscope (RPM) extends the measurement capability of the SEM to provide additional 3D information. The topographical information provided by the RPM is used in the repair process.
The RPM technology is an enabler for applications such as repair verification, 3D feature analysis, repair of Chromeless Phase Shifting Lithography (CPL) masks, and buried multilayer defect repair on EUV masks.
“The RPM was designed from the start for the rigorous environment of high volume manufacturing and full automation,” said Dr. Andy Humphris, CTO of Infinitesima and inventor of the RPM. “The RPM’s throughput is 10-100 times faster than the existing Atomic Force Microscope (AFM) technology,” he said. “In combination with its sub-nanometre resolution, this has been one of the key factors to be selected by ZEISS.”
Recently appointed CEO, Dr Paul May, added “with EUV lithography imminently entering the semiconductor manufacturing process, the RPM will find important applications in repair, critical dimension measurement, and review for photomask reticles as well as for wafer.. In these applications, it will complement current Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) technology.”
“Andy Humphris and his team have worked tirelessly and with remarkable creativity to bring this exciting technology to market,” said Andrew Dixon, Chairman of Infinitesima. “For many years we have felt there is a role for probe microscopy in the semiconductor manufacturing process and we are delighted to work alongside ZEISS.”