In EUV-photolithography tools, wafers are temporarily fixed to the wafer stage by means of electrostatic clamping. Such clamping is required to fixate the wafer at nanometer precision such that the photolithographic patterns can be applied with similar precision.
However, it is often observed that residual charge accumulation on the electrostatic clamp insulating surface can lead to unstable clamping force. Over time this effect negatively affects machine performance. This unwanted effect is also a limiting factor for future development where higher clamping forces are required.
In this research project we aim to characterize the exact influence of possible surface charge sources and define possible mitigation methods. This will be done with experiments on a model system combined with theoretical knowledge of charging processes, thereby laying a scientifically sound basis for future prevention of (uncontrolled) charging of insulator surface. These mitigation methods may be adapted to other related high-tech equipment where similar surface charging phenomenon occur.
Research questions which we will answer in this project are:
1. Which of the possible charging mechanisms are dominant in the surface charging of wafer stages?
2. What ways are there to diminish or control these dominant mechanisms?
3. Are there ways to make a surface more robust against (unpredictable) surface charging
4. Are there ways to (easily) remove surface charges in situ?
Do you recognize yourself in this profile and would you like to know more?
Please contact prof.dr.ing. A.J.M. Pemen, chair group Electrical Energy Systems, a.j.m.pemen[at]tue.nl].
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