MILPITAS, Calif., Aug. 15, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Today KLA-Tencor Corporation (NASDAQ: KLAC) announced the new FlashScan™ reticle blank* inspection product line. While KLA-Tencor has been a major presence in patterned reticle inspection since the company introduced the first inspection system in 1978, the new FlashScan product line represents the company's entry into the dedicated reticle blank inspection market. Reticle blank inspection systems are purchased by blank manufacturers for defect control during process development and volume manufacturing, and by reticle manufacturers ("mask shops") for incoming inspection, tool monitoring and process control. The FlashScan systems can inspect reticle blanks designed for optical or extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography.
"Advanced lithography begins with a well-characterized reticle blank," said Yalin Xiong, Ph.D., general manager of the Reticle and Broadband Plasma Wafer Inspection Division at KLA-Tencor. "Defect-free EUV blanks have been notoriously difficult to manufacture, driving up costs and delaying the benefits that EUV lithography may bring to next-generation chip manufacturing. Our new FlashScan blank inspectors capture a broad range of defect types on bare substrates, absorber films and photoresist coatings. In addition, FlashScan systems feature higher throughput and sensitivity than other systems currently on the market, accelerating cycles of learning for blank manufacturers and mask shops."
Leveraging laser scattering technology from KLA-Tencor's wafer defect inspection portfolio, the FlashScan systems meet sensitivity and speed requirements for all optical and EUV blanks currently in production or development. The three-channel collector, unique in the reticle inspection market, is designed to detect, size and discriminate among various types of reticle blank defects, such as pinholes in photoresist and fall-on particles that may appear during blank manufacturing or shipping.
Strong customer interest from leading mask shops testifies to the market's need for a high sensitivity, high productivity system promising the full range of defect type capture. To maintain the high performance and productivity demanded by blank and patterned reticle manufacturers, FlashScan systems are backed by KLA-Tencor's global comprehensive service network. More information about the new FlashScan product line, including a description of current models, can be found on the FlashScan web page.