Photomask Repair


6th Generation AFM Guided Nanomachine

5nm Production Photomask Repair

Precision Repair of Advanced, Critical-Level Photomasks

Bruker’s AFM nanomachining systems are the global standard and preferred production technique for precision repair of advanced, critical-level photomasks. The nm-VI® system is Bruker’s sixth generation AFM-Guided Nanomachine. The nm-VI sets Bruker apart as the company that can develop and deliver the innovative nano-scale material shaping processes required to keep the semiconductor industry in concert with the 5 nanometer technology node and beyond.

Wide Range
of removable materials
Including chrome, MoSi, opaque MoSi, SiN, quartz, EUV, foreign materials, and persistent unknown particles.
≤ 20 Å
Edge Placement (± from target)
AFM-guided nanomachining repair processes are defined by final geometry, independent of material composition, material interfaces or geometry being removed.
≤ 10 Å
Depth (Z) Control (± from target)
Extraordinary z control permits repairs to be specifically matched to the specified reference or differentially biased at or below the substrate surface for exact phase matching.

Industry Leading Mask Repair Method

Nanomachining is a unique defect repair technique in the semiconductor industry, combining the positional control of an AFM and proprietary Nanomachining hardware and software to perform material removal at nanometer levels.

Its appeal lies in the precise and accurate removal of defects of various materials including chrome, MoSi, opaque MoSi, silicon nitride, quartz, EUV, foreign materials, and unknown particles. Its iterative repair capability and planar material removal guarantees repaired areas with a much wider “Through Focus” transmission window.

Addressing Industry's Critical Challenges

With six generations and nearly 20 years of inline experience, Bruker's AFM-guided nanomachine boasts unique optimizations and enhancements to control pattern defects in the production of high-end photomasks with decreasing feature size and increasing mask complexity. Notable features include:

  • Standard BitClean® Function – Special hardware and software automation that provides final pre-pellicle local clean capability using the nanomachining tip for the removal of persistent unknown particle contamination.
  • Integrated local pattern copy functions come standard with the system.
  • Design Image Retrieval Package (optional) includes computer hardware and nm-VI system interface software. It provides the capability to retrieve segments of mask repair area pattern images from original design files, correct for AFM scanned image, display and overlay on the designated repair area for operator executed repair.

A Technique with Minimal Trade-Offs

The nm-VI offers production proven nanomachining with few downsides. The AFM-based nanomachining technique boasts the following over other (focused ion beam (FIB) and laser or electron beam) mask repair systems.

  • no vacuum requirement
  • no chemistries
  • no chemical residues
  • no beam related charging effects
  • no need for constant drift correction by re-registration to undesirable positioning markers


How Can We Help?

Bruker partners with our customers to solve real-world application issues. We develop next-generation technologies and help customers select the right system and accessories. This partnership continues through training and extended service, long after the tools are sold.

Our highly trained team of support engineers, application scientists and subject-matter experts are wholly dedicated to maximizing your productivity with system service and upgrades, as well as application support and training.

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