Carl Zeiss AIMS fab 248

Carl Zeiss AIMS fab 248, is a system to optically emulate steppers/scanners. The system quickly and accurately predicts with the help of new and innovative features the printability of all types of mask defects for every kind of reticle enhancement technique. The specially designed minimized partial contamination.

Innovative Features

Save time in your mask repair cycle

The high precision stage allows to position the points of interest very accurately in the field of view. The displayed listing of defects allows to visit defect by a mouse click and it is also possible to compare defects before and after repair. Optionally, defect files can be imported from various automated reticle inspection tools or database systems.

Evaluation of phase errors on linewidths

Analysis of the through-focus behaviour of Phase-Shift Masks reveals information on phase errors due to their sensitivity on peak intensities and linewidth measures. This allows to correct the manufacturing process of the reticle.

Resist simulation

Further analysis can be performed by entering the aerial image data obtained by the AIMS? fab into the resist simulation part of the software solid_cr. Resist profiles and a simulated process window can be displayed simulating the exposure, post-exposure bake and resist development phases. 

Technical Data


Wavelength: 248 nm, 365 nm 
Numerical aperture (NA) range: 0.30 - 0.90 in 0.01 steps, sigma aperture range: 0.3 - 1.00 in 0.01steps


Light source: Hg-Xe 100W, 1000h lifetime 
System Laser Class: Class 1 
Off-axis patterns: Annular (1:3, 2:3, 1:2), quadruple, quasar, dipole and customer specific designs


High sensitive DeepUV camera with 1317 x 1035 pixel CCD array with pixel size of 6.8 μm x 6.8 μm, 12 bit gray level resolution. 
For overviewing in transmitted and reflected light: UV camera for i-line and visible light with 752 x 582 CCD array.


18" High resolution flat panel

Scanning stage

Travel range in x/y: 230 x 230 mm 
Resolution (maximum): 100 nm 
Mask holder: 5", 6" and 7"


Sizes: 5" (90 mil), 6" (120 mil, 250 mil), 7" (250 mil) and 9" (350 mil) 
Types: BIN, PSM, OPC and combinations there of, with or w/o pellicle


Clean room conditions: ISO class 6 (Fed. Standard 209E class 1000) or better 
Inside system: ISO class 3 (Fed. Standard 209E class 1)


Voltage: 110 V - 240V 
Frequency: 50/ 60 Hz 
Power rating: 1150 W


1735 x 1213, 
including clearance 2135 x 1613. 
Weight: Main system: 450 kg , Electronic Rack: 100 kg


Off-axis illumination pattern. 
Defect-file-transfer KLA, Lasertech, Orbot. 
For system with automated maskhandling and ISO3 
minienvironment. AIMS fab plus technical data 
Measurement Objective Lito 10x.

AIMS ? Software 

Software operating under Windows NT. 
Office version available. 
System Control and Image Acquisition: 
Selection of wavelength, illumination type, aperture control (NA and sigma), automated alignment capability, mask positioning including review capability, focus control, video autofocus, camera control, image capture, image normalization through clear field capture, single image mode and through-focus mode.

Data Analysis : 

Intensity profiles, contour plots, linewidth versus threshold plots, linewidth versus defocus plots, exposure versus defocus plots, 3D intensity plot, histogram, 2 image comparison.

Anti Vibration

Vibration damping system; facility requirements: at ground level less than 1μm amplitude in the range 0.1- 20 Hz, 2 μm 20 Hz - 100 Hz. 

Aerial Imaging

It shows how it prints! 
Aerial imaging is an optical technique which measures the 
aerial image directly from any type of mask.

Aerial Image of lines and spaces pattern. The center line shows a defect.

By using equivalent optical conditions for wavelength, numerical aperture and illumination type like steppers / scanners, it provides rapid feedback on lithographic performance. The image of a feature is equivalent to the one printed with incident light on the resist of the wafer. Applying through- focus measurements allows you to extract the process latitude and de-focus exposure matrix.

General Applications

‧Performance evaluation and qualification of all types of litho masks (BIN, PSM, OPC) 
‧Printability/ non-printability check of defects and defect analysis 
‧Repair verification 
‧Prediction of expected resist linewidth after litho process 
‧Evaluation of phase errors based on CD predictions 
‧Incoming quality control 
‧Transmission analysis 
‧Wafer process optimization through direct variation of NA- and sigma-values