Centura® Tetra Z Photomask Etch

The Applied Centura Tetra Z Photomask Etch system delivers state-of-the-art performance required to etch optical lithography photomasks for logic and memory devices at 10nm and beyond. The new system enhances the capabilities of the industry-leading Tetra platform to address advanced resolution enhancement techniques and extend immersion lithography for quadruple patterning with unprecedented CD performance.

As the semiconductor industry continues to extend the limits of current lithography technologies, the Tetra Z system is an important enabler of the extreme optical proximity correction (OPC) resolution enhancement techniques required for etching 10nm advanced binary and phase-shift masks (PSMs). The system achieves its exceptional pattern transfer fidelity on chrome, molybdenum silicon oxynitride (MoSiON), hard mask, and quartz (fused silica) through controls that ensure uniform, linear precision etching across all feature sizes and pattern densities with virtually zero defectivity.

Its excellent CD performance combined with high etch selectivity enable thinner photoresist films to be used for achieving smaller photomask CD patterns on critical device layers. Controllable CD bias capability expands the system’s flexibility to meet customer-specific requirements. Unique quartz etch depth control ensures precision phase angle and aids integrated circuit scaling by providing customers the capability to use alternating-aperture PSMs and chromeless phase lithography. These key advances derive from improvements in chamber design; plasma stability; regulation of ions, radicals, gas flows, and pressure; and real-time process monitoring and control.

The Tetra Z system’s capabilities for etching a wide variety of mask types minimize tool operation complexities, development cycle times, and dependencies on process libraries and expert users. For the past decade, the world’s leading photomask shops have relied on Tetra etch systems to etch the most advanced masks with the highest yields.


Madhavi Chandrachood discusses the Tetra™ Photomask Etch system.