Agilent Technologies ships industry's first vacuum-qualified, fiber-delivery laser for next-generation lithography tools

12/13/2002 - Agilent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: A) announced shipment of the industry's first laser with fiber optic delivery suitable for the rigorous demands of next-generation lithography (NGL) motion control. NGL tools, which operate in a vacuum environment, are designed to shrink advanced integrated circuit designs beyond what is possible with optical lithography. The laser operates in air and delivers light to a remote optical recombination device inside the vacuum.

Agilent Technologies' Precision Motion Control system includes the remote delivery laser sub-system, beam directing optics, multi-axis interferometers and electronic signal-processing subsystems. This system provides ultra-high accuracy stage position data with sub-nanometer resolution to control wafer and reticle stages. Stage position precision is a key parameter required to meet the reduced feature size specifications for NGL applications, which are targeted at 45 to 70 nm.

Agilent developed new precision motion control technologies to meet the accuracy, resolution, velocity and outgassing requirements for NGL tools that house the optical path, reticle and wafer stages in a vacuum environment. Agilent has been characterizing low-outgassing products for several years, aided by its large, high-performance ASTM E 1559 vacuum test chamber that enables measurement of both qualitative and quantitative outgassing information.

"Agilent's R&D programs continue to provide leading technologies to support the demanding requirements of next-generation lithography applications," said Bob Burns, vice president and general manager of Agilent's Precision Motion and Time organization. "Agilent's first delivery of new advanced precision motion control products to a major lithography tool manufacturer is the result of pioneering work in developing accurate interferometry, innovative signal processing methods, and low-outgassing products."

About Next-Generation Lithography Tools
NGL tools have been in the conceptual phase for more than ten years. The current focus is on development of extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography and electron projection lithography (EPL) tools. The EUV tool uses radiation with a wavelength of 13.5 nm (more than 10 times smaller than current lithography technology) to image features below 45 nm, as well as reflective optics and reflective reticles. The EPL tool uses electrons to transfer the image from the reticle to the wafer, as well as a "magnetic lens," rather than an optical column. Both EUV and EPL systems perform lithography in a vacuum environment.

About Agilent Technologies
Agilent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: A) is a global technology leader in communications, electronics and life sciences. The company's 36,000 employees serve customers in more than 120 countries. Agilent had net revenue of $6 billion in fiscal year 2002. Information about Agilent is available on the Web at

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