S&S Tech will launch pellicle for use in silicon-based extreme ultraviolet (EUV) exposure process in semiconductor production, the company said on Wednesday.
The company will launch them in the fourth quarter, it said at the 2020 EUVL Supplier Showcase event hosted by Hanyang University’s EUV-IUCC (Industry-University Cooperation Center) and EUV Litho Inc.
The launch comes after two years since it began EUV pellicle research using silicon nitride.
It is also the first time S&S Tech has made it official when it plans to commercially launch them.
Pellicle are used to protect the photomask in semiconductor production. It prevents various contamination that could affect the photomask during production.
There has been limitation to producing them due to some mechanical and heat characteristics that needed to be overcome.
S&S Tech director and vice president Shin Chul said after launching the first-generation silicon-based EUV pellicle this year, it will supply them in commercial production lines starting in the first quarter of 2021.
The company will also develop second-generation and third-generation EUV pellicle based on metal and nanometer materials to react to semiconductor processes to be applied in 2022 and 2023.
S&S Tech has also completed developed of tantalum-based blank mask to be used in the EUV process of 7 nanometer and 5 nanometer semiconductor processes. The company aims to apply them in commercial lines in 2024. It will launch second-generation and third-generation blank masks after 2022 as well. These will be phase shift masks.
EUV blank masks uses ceramic with lower thermal expansion rate instead of quartz that were used previously.
S&S Tech will produce the pellicle and blank masks at its new fab at Yongin, South Korea. The company bought the land in Yongin Techno Valley from UBmaterials for 5.3 billion won earlier this month.
Meanwhile, at the event, E-SOL, a FST affiliate, showcased its verification and inspection tool for EUV materials. The tool as a lego concept where the user can swap features in and out of the system. Users can add microscope, phase measurement, reflectivity, interference rate, pellicle transmittance and reflectivity measuring and photoresist sensitivity modules to the basic E-SOL platform. The company will showcase six new modules in 2021.
Pohang Accelerator Laboratory, with funding from the Ministry of Science and ICT, was developing a EUV storage ring that it plans to complete by the first quarter of 2020, the company said at the event. The ring will allow research of EUV pattern mask, blank mask measurement, defect inspection, EUV pellicle verification and EUV resist characteristic analysis at the PAL-EUV beamline.
EUV-IUCC said it plans to provide technology on EUV material design and verification for such things as mask, pellicle and resist. The center’s members include Hanyang University, Pohang Accelerator Laboratory, Inha University, UT-Dallas and Korea Electronics Technology Institute that are collaborating in research of EUV technology.