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Posted: August 12, 2010

Carl Zeiss Ships First 32 nm Photomask Registration and Overlay Metrology System to NuFlare Technology

(Nanowerk News) Carl Zeiss reports the delivery of the first PROVE™ Registration and Overlay Metrology System for photomasks to NuFlare Technology, the world leading supplier of e-beam based maskwriters. It is the kick-off for a series of deliveries in the upcoming months.
After three years development time the first PROVE™ system passed successfully the factory acceptance and was shipped to NuFlare/Japan. PROVE™ is designed to measure image placement and critical dimension on photomasks with sub-nanometer repeatability and accuracy. The newly developed system distinguishes through its 193 nm optics with superior resolution. "We are pleased to receive the first Carl Zeiss registration tool. The excellent resolution and the unprecedented measurement precision of PROVE™ are inevitable to develop and optimise our latest generation e-beam mask writers and enables us to speed up our own tool roadmap," states Fumiaki Shigemitsu, Director of NuFlare Technology.
For Carl Zeiss the new registration system perfectly completes the portfolio of mask metrology, review and repair tools. "The first delivery of a PROVE™ system is an important milestone in the project. With NuFlare as first customer we can establish a close interlink between the latest generation registration measurement and e-beam mask writers. Mask makers and wafer fabs will significantly benefit from the resulting masks with lower registration errors," explains Dr. Oliver Kienzle, Managing Director of Carl Zeiss' Semiconductor Metrology Systems division.
The system
Key component of PROVE™ is the diffraction limited, high resolution imaging optics operating at 193 nm corresponding to at-wavelength metrology for the majority of current and futures photomask applications. It provides flexible illumination for maximum contrast imaging and enables "in-die" pattern placement analysis on production pattern.
The open concept together with the use of 193 nm wavelength enables a higher NA for pellicle-free applications, including extreme ultraviolet (EUV) masks.
About Carl Zeiss SMT AG
Carl Zeiss SMT is one of the leading manufacturers of lithography optics and light, electron and ion-optical inspection, analysis and measuring systems. Its Semiconductor Metrology Systems Division focuses on a key component in semiconductor manufacturing, the photomask. Core expertise in light and electron optics, complemented by a femto-second laser technology form the foundation of a product portfolio comprising in-die metrology, actinic qualification, repair and tuning of photomasks. Further information: www.smt.zeiss.com.
About NuFlare
NuFlare Technology, Inc. is a supplier of mask writing systems, mask inspection systems, and epitaxial reactor systems. NuFlare has the world's top market share in e-beam mask writing systems as well as technology leader in mask writing system with its production, R&D and support sites in Japan, USA, Germany, Korea and Taiwan. In fiscal year 2009/2010, NuFlare Technology, Inc. generated consolidated revenues of over JPY 20 billion, and the company had 420 employees. NuFlare Technology, Inc. is listed on the Osaka Securities Exchange (JASDAQ). For further information: www.nuflare.co.jp
Source: Carl Zeiss (press release)
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