Extreme UV (EUV) masks are expected to undergo cleaning processes in order to maintain the lifetimes necessary for high volume manufacturing. For this study, the impact of repetitive cleaning of EUV masks on imaging performance is evaluated. Two high quality industry standard EUV masks are used, with one of the masks undergoing repeated cleaning and the other one kept as a reference. Lithographic performance, in terms of process window analysis and line edge roughness, was monitored after every two cleans and was compared to the reference mask performance. Surface analysis by atomic force microscopy did not show changes in the midspatial frequency roughness measured after each clean. After a total of eight cleans, minimal degradation is observed in the lithographic performance of the mask. From these observations, the authors conclude that the cleaning cycles completed thus far did not damage the mask multilayer or the absorber structures. The cleaning cycles will be continued until significant loss in imaging fidelity is found. © 2010 American Vacuum Society.