SUSS MicroTec Partners with SEMATECH to Speed Commercialization of Mask Lithography for Semiconductor Manufacturing

Garching, Germany and Albany, N.Y. October 7, 2013 – SUSS MicroTec, a leading supplier of equipment and process solutions for the semiconductor and related markets, and SEMATECH, a global consortium of semiconductor manufacturers, announced today that SUSS MicroTec’s photomask equipment division has partnered with SEMATECH to investigate and develop extreme ultraviolet lithography (EUVL) substrate and blank cleaning technologies that will accelerate process availability for extreme ultraviolet pilot line manufacturing.

Over the last years SUSS MicroTec, the market leader in photomask cleaning equipment, has succeeded to adapt and enhance tools and processes to the specific EUVL requirements.

As a SEMATECH member, SUSS MicroTec’s photomask equipment division will collaborate with the consortium’s EUV mask experts to focus on improving the cleaning yield on EUVL mask blanks, patterned masks and non-patterned EUVL substrates. The long-term goal of this collaboration is to increase the manufacturing yield for substrates and mask blanks with the lowest defect counts at nonprintable defect sizes. In a cooperative approach to enable preservation of mask cleanliness and avoid the risk of repeated printing of defects, SEMATECH is researching practical solutions for defect reduction to enable high-volume EUVL manufacturing. The collaborative work between SUSS MicroTec and SEMATECH’s lithography research teams will develop both wet and dry cleaning methods, targeting major reduction in soft defects as well as surface pitting and functional layer degradation.

Frank P. Averdung, President and CEO of SUSS MicroTec adds “The EUV lithography has reached a critical junction where low defect masks and in-fab mask re-clean are essential in accelerating EUV lithography development and to substantially reduce EUV scanner down time. Learning from this collaboration is expected to once again benefit also EUVL and 193i pattern mask cleaning yields.”

“This joint research initiative represents an innovative blend of SUSS MicroTec’s experience as a market leader in the field of mask cleaning and SEMATECH’s strengths in the development of EUVL and blank cleaning technologies that will benefit our members and the industry,” said Stefan Wurm, SEMATECH’s director of Lithography. “We look forward to working with SUSS on innovative ways to remove particles as small as 10 nm from EUVL substrates and blanks.”