Particle control near reticle and optics using showerhead

Patent Number: 9,244,368
Issued: 1/26/2016
Official Filing: View the Complete Patent
Abstract: A method and an apparatus to protect a reticle against particles and chemicals in an actinic EUV reticle inspection tool are presented. The method and apparatus utilizes a pair of porous metal diffusers in the form of showerheads to provide a continual flow of clean gas. The main showerhead bathes the reticle surface to be inspected in smoothly flowing, low pressure gas, isolating it from particles coming from surrounding volumes. The secondary showerhead faces away from the reticle and toward the EUV illumination and projection optics, supplying them with purge gas while at the same time creating a buffer zone that is kept free of any particle contamination originating from those optics.
Filed: 9/23/2013
Application Number: 14/33,929
Government Interests: STATEMENT OF GOVERNMENT INTEREST This invention was made with Government support under Contract No. DE-NA0003525 awarded by the United States Department of Energy/National Nuclear Security Administration. The Government has certain rights in the invention.