Extreme Ultra Violet Lithography (EUVL) is one of the most advanced patterning technologies to overcome the critical resolution limits of current ArF lithography for 30nm generation node and beyond. Since EUVL mask manufacturing process has not been fully stabilized yet, it is still suffering from many defect issues such as blank defects, defects inside multilayer causing phase defects, CD defects, LERs (Line Edge Roughness), and so on. One of the most important roles in mask manufacturing process belongs to mask inspection tools, which monitor and visualize mask features, defects and process quality for the EUVL process development. Moreover, as the portion of EUV mask production has been increased due to the EUV Pre-Production Tool (PPT) development, mask inspection technologies for EUVL become highly urgent and critical to guarantee mask quality. This paper presents a promising inspection technique for increasing the contrast of pattern imaging and defects capture rate using configurable illumination conditions in 193nm wavelength inspection tool.© (2011) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.