Zeiss Aims 45i system

The novel AIMS? 45-193i offering a maximum NA of 1.4 meets the stringent requirements for advanced photomask evaluation for the 45 nm node.
Based on an entirely new platform the system enables the emulation of future 193 nm immersion scanners.
Main system improvements of the AIMS? 45-193i include polarised illumination and a novel vector effect emulation capability which allows the study of rigorous polarisation effects as they appear from reticles and the scanner technology itself. 
The system achieves specifications enabling emulation of upcoming scanner generations already today.

Features & Benefits



NA up to 1.4

Enabling the emulation of future 193 nm immersion scanners for 45 nm node

Mask face down

Scanner equivalent beam path

Scanner equivalent polarisation settings (linear & tangential)

Setting of all types of scanner illumination

Full vector effect emulation capability

Allows the emulation of vector effects induced by high NA imaging

Multi off-axis pattern illumination

Quick and easy exchangeable off-axis illumination device for 20 patterns

New beam homogenizer

Ensures contrast fidelity and CD uniformity

Piezo z-drive

Highly precise best focal plane determination and repeatability

Special system housing

Temperature control
Acoustical isolation
Contamination risk reduction

Vibration isolation

Ensures very tight transmission and CD repeatability

High accuracy stage 

Allows for precise mask positioning

Separated beam paths VIS/DUV

Higher optics stability at advanced and improved optical settings

Overview camera

Quick and easy mask navigation and alignment

Automated alignment

Saving of operator and tool time at high accuracy

To approach exact real world scanner illumination conditions the optical beam path is completely inverted and the mask is now handled "face down". 
The CCD camera is in the same position as the wafer below the mask enabling scanner comparable emulation conditions. Looking onto a mask in the same way as a scanner the AIMS 45-193i achieves significant tighter specifications.
To guarantee best optical performance with AIMS measurements the visible light beam path has been separated from the DUV beam path enabling the usage of optimally adjusted optics. A new beam homogenizer is implemented in the AIMS 45-193i providing best uniformity results for field and pupil homogeneity.