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Working together, these More Moore participants have created a photoemission electron microscope capable of measuring features as small as 20 nanometers (nm), without destroying the sample. Recently they identified defects of 50 nm buried under the multilayer coating of a mask blank.
A typical application for EUVL is "mask blank inspection" and this requires keeping the sample intact during inspection. Until now, this was not possible. Common methods such as scanning electron microscopy cannot identify defects hidden beneath the multilayer coating of the EUVL mask blank. This is therefore an important step for EUV technology. Masks are an important part of the infrastructure, required for the successful introduction of EUVL technology.
EUVL will be the next generation technology used by the semiconductor industry to manufacture integrated circuits, with ever-smaller features. Smaller features - starting at 32 nm instead of the 65 nm common today -- allow chipmakers to fit more transistors on each chip or make more complex chips. Transition to EUVL technology will enable the continuation of increased number of transistors per square mm consistent with Moore's law, which predicts the computing power of semiconductors should double roughly every two years.