With the market introduction of the NXE:3100, Extreme Ultra Violet Lithography (EUVL) enters a new stage. Now infrastructure in the wafer fabs must be prepared for new processes and new materials. Especially the infrastructure for masks poses a challenge. Because of the absence of a pellicle reticle front sides are exceptionally vulnerable to particles. It was also shown that particles on the backside of a reticle may cause tool down time. These effects set extreme requirements to the cleanliness level of the fab infrastructure for EUV masks. The cost of EUV masks justifies the use of equipment that is qualified on particle cleanliness. Until now equipment qualification on particle cleanliness have not been carried out with statistically based qualification procedures. Since we are dealing with extreme clean equipment the number of observed particles is expected to be very low. These particle levels can only be measured by repetitively cycling a mask substrate in the equipment. Recent work in the EUV AD-tool presents data on added particles during load/unload cycles, reported as number of Particles per Reticle Pass (PRP). In the interpretation of the data, variation by deposition statistics is not taken into account. In measurements with low numbers of added particles the standard deviation in PRP number can be large. An additional issue is that particles which are added in the routing outside the equipment may have a large impact on the testing result. The number mismatch between a single handling step outside the tool and the multiple cycling in the equipment makes accuracy of measurements rather complex. The low number of expected particles, the large variation in results and the combined effect of added particles inside and outside the equipment justifies putting good effort in making a test plan. Without a proper statistical background, tests may not be suitable for proving that equipment qualifies for the limiting cleanliness levels. Other risks are that a test may requires an unrealistic high testing effort or that equipment can only pass for a test when it meets unrealistic high cleanliness levels. TNO developed a testing model which enables setting up a qualification test on particle cleanliness for EUV mask infrastructure. It is based on particle deposition models with a Poisson statistics and an acceptance sampling test method. The test model combines the single contribution of the routing outside the equipment and contribution of multiple cycling in the equipment. This model enables designing a test with minimal testing effort that proves that equipment meets a required cleanliness level. Furthermore, it gives insight in other equipment requirements on reliability. © 2011 SPIE.