Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Moving EUVL From Lab to Fab

MAUI, Hawaii, June 3, 2008 -- More than 100 leading lithographers will meet in Maui next week to begin developing a plan to speed the introduction of extreme ultraviolet lithography (EUVL) into high-volume semiconductor manufacturing.

The effort will take place June 10-12 at the 2008 International Workshop on EUV Lithography, being held at the Wailea Beach Marriott. Keynote speaker will be retired IBM senior scientist Eberhard Spiller, PhD, whom many consider the "father of EUVL" because of his pioneering work on EUVL mirrors. Spiller is owner of Spiller X-Ray Optics in Livermore, Calif., and will speak on "Imaging in the EUV Region."

Optical lithography, which has dominated chip manufacturing for more than three decades, involves the direction of light onto a mask -- a sort of stencil of an integrated circuit pattern -- which projects the image of the pattern onto a semiconductor wafer covered with light-sensitive photoresist. The process has allowed more and more features to be crammed onto a computer chip, but current techniques have pushed the method about as far as it can go. Creating faster circuits with smaller and smaller features requires using shorter and shorter wavelengths of light -- such as those in the EUV range -- but technical difficulties and its cost continue to keep EUVL from becoming commercially viable for high-volume manufacturing.

In focused sessions at the International Workshop on EUV Lithography, key researchers from North America, Europe and Asia will present findings aimed at solving the most critical EUVL challenges in source power, mask defects and resist performance.

Special emphasis will be placed on the power scaling potential of discharge-produced plasma (DPP) and laser-produced plasma (LPP) as potential EUV power sources. LPP-based sources using high-power lasers are strong candidates for delivering 180 W of EUV power, enough to meet manufacturing requirements.

Single-module high-power laser supplier Gigaphoton will describe its high-power pulsed CO2 lasers, while researchers from MIT's Lincoln Lab in Lexington, Mass., will document the performance of Yb:YAG lasers as an alternate high-power laser technology. Additional candidates for high-power source technology also will be reviewed.

Six papers on enhancing the performance of current EUVL resists and highlighting new approaches for developing new resists will be presented. Other papers will cover EUVL source, optics, optics design, contamination, reticle protection, mask and mask metrology. Also, many leading researchers will give invited talks to highlight potential solutions to EUVL challenges.

Interspersed among the presentations will be three expert panels on EUVL source, mask, and general research and development issues. Panelists will identify areas where additional R&D is needed to solve the challenges to bringing EUVL into the factory.

Preceding the workshop, several courses will be offered June 9-10 on the fundamentals and underlying physics of EUVL. These courses recognize that EUVL is a multidisciplinary science, and are designed for technologists whose expertise lies outside lithography.

Organizing the workshop is EUV Litho Inc., an organization dedicated to promoting and accelerating introduction of EUVL into high-volume manufacturing through workshops and education. SPIE is co-sponsoring the event and will publish its proceedings.

Registration details and additional information are available at: www.euvlitho.com

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