Aera 6 Mask Inspection

The Applied Aera™ 6 Mask Inspection system is a sixth generation 193nm-based inspection tool, unique in combining true aerial imaging with cutting-edge high-resolution imaging.

Equipped with a new lithography-grade lens and double CCD system, the Aera 6 demonstrates enhanced signal-to-noise ratio for both standard high-resolution applications and aerial inspection with improved throughput. Such capabilities makes it the tool of choice for Memory and Logic most advanced nodes, including those with aggressive optical proximity correction, such as inverse lithography and EUV mask inspection. The system performs highly sensitive mask inspection, as required for double- and quadruple-patterning lithography technologies, while maintaining a very low false alarm rate.

Designed to emulate a lithography scanner, the Aera 6 system delivers a higher inspection success rate over other high-resolution inspection systems with advanced masks. Combined with its inherent automatic defect classification as printing or non-printing, and by focusing on advanced AI algorithmic solutions, the system allows mask makers to extend ArF technology to next-generation nodes.

The Aera 6 system expands the mask inspection capabilities of mask shops and fabs to promote longer mask lifetimes and reduce mask-related costs.  These capabilities include early haze detection, complete 193nm and EUV exposure-degradation monitoring, 2.5nm resolution review of edge dislocation defects, and full-mask critical dimension (CD) uniformity mapping using the IntenCD system.