Advanced Binary Reticle

Advanced Binary OPC Masks

Pushing Technology Nodes

At Photronics, we’ve stayed in step with lithography advancements as the semiconductor industry continues to push the lithography limits with extreme low-k1 processing, and the effects of high mask error enhancement factor (MEEF) lithography.

Our advanced binary reticles easily support production nodes from 45nm to 130nm, with innovation down to 10nm clearly in our sights.

Meeting The Challenge

Achieving feature sizes, resolution, and CD control required for optical proximity correction (OPC) down to 100nm masks is now possible with features like hammerheads, serifs, and sub-resolution-assist.

How We Do It

  • E-beam lithography tools and chemically amplified resist (CAR), resolve very small main and OPC features on the mask.
  • Advanced laser lithography tools provide a lower-cost solution when ultimate resolution is less critical.
  • Dry-etch ensures pattern fidelity by minimizing CD loss as the resist pattern is transferred to the chrome absorber layer.

Specialty Phase-Shift Masks

Better Resolution and DOF

At 248nm and 193nm wavelengths, our embedded attenuated phase-shift masks (EAPSM) rely on a wavelength-tuned, 6% transmission MoSiON absorber to produces a 180-degree phase shift. This improves a lithography tool’s resolution and dept of focus.

How We Do It

  •  Define the top chrome layer using leading-edge e-beam or laser patterning tools
  • Create a pattern for the MoSiON below the top chrome layer using an inductively coupled plasma (ICP) dry etch process.
  • Define the active phase-shift pattern area by recoating the mask with resist and performing a second-level exposure with the laser pattering tool. The mask fiducials, barcode and titles are left in high-contrast chrome.
  • Repair critical defects (CDs) using precision-beam or atomic force microscope tools.

Other Advanced Products

High Transmission EAPSMs

We are the only globally available source for production-level tuned, high-transmission EAPSMs, which improves resolution and depth of focus, extending the life of wafer exposure tools to more advanced tech nodes.

Alternating Aperture Phase Shift Masks (AAPSM)

Whether you need a single trench, tri-tone, three-phased terrace design, or even chromeless phase lithography (CPL), our AAPSMs allow you to etch a pattern directly into silica with 180 phase shift at 100% transmission, achieving the highest theoretical k-1 improvement.

Grayscale Masks, Optical Gratings

We offer special purpose masks in fields such as photonics, thin film heads, gray scale imaging, and optical gratings.

EUV Masks… A Preview of What’s Coming

After years of waiting, extreme ultraviolet (EUV) capability is finally in production, and with it the ability to take technology nodes to 7nm feature sizes. Our R&D team has played an important role in this next-generation lithography development. As a result, our technology infrastructure is poised to meet aggressive ramp schedules when EUV photomasks become mainstream.

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