Experts Conclude 193nm Immersion Litho on Track for 45nm Half Pitch

9/26/2005 - Industry experts here last week at the 2nd International Symposium on Immersion Lithography concluded that 193nm immersion lithography has demonstrated significant progress in all aspects of technology and is on track for insertion into volume manufacturing, as well as showing good prospects for extendibility to subsequent generations.

"With more than 380 lithographers attending the 2nd International Symposium on Immersion Lithography, broad support to develop immersion lithography has been clearly shown," said Kurt Ronse, general chair of the Symposium and Lithography Department Director at IMEC. "This strong drive has resulted in significant progress on all critical issues and a general acceptance that immersion lithography will be a key technology for 65nm and 45nm half-pitch critical layer printing."

The latest timelines of the immersion scanner suppliers remain unchanged. Understanding of resist and top-coat interaction mechanisms with water is clearly under way and continuous improvements have been reported. Defectivity is still a major issue and will remain so. However, considerable progress has been achieved compared to last year's Symposium with significant understanding of the immersion defect generation mechanisms. Process defects are being widely explored now. First solutions are in preparation, demonstrating that immersion is on its way.

Other findings of the Symposium, reported in numerous presentations, included the following:

  1. Tools in the field with NA < 1 are now yielding in process technology development. The causes and impact of resist component leaching are increasingly well understood, and processes without topcoats have been demonstrated.
  2. Hyper NA scanners (NA < 1) are taking full advantage of immersion and are in preparation. They will reach the market within the coming year. Mask polarization effects have been shown to be manageable, and full polarization control of the illuminator has been described.
  3. For very high NA (> 1.3) initial studies on liquids and optical materials have been started resulting in some candidate high index fluids which indicate the feasibility of extending immersion beyond water and 45nm half pitch.

At the conclusion, the Symposium steering committee identified that immersion lithography is now widely considered as the coming litho technology. It is firmly on track for 65nm half pitch insertion into volume manufacturing and extension to 45nm half pitch. Based on the progress reported the list of critical immersion issues was updated to:

  1. development of high-index fluids to replace water
  2. development of high-index lens materials
  3. resist development in terms of leaching, line-edge roughness, refractive index
  4. development of solutions to further reduce immersion defectivity
  5. double exposure demonstration
  6. lens design including polarization control at NA <<1
  7. development of mask infrastructure to minimize polarization effects

The Symposium, held September 12-15 in Bruges, Belgium, was organized by IMEC and SEMATECH in cooperation with Selete. The next worldwide 193nm immersion forum - the 3rd International Symposium on Immersion Lithography - will be held in Japan in September-October 2006.

About IMEC
IMEC is a world-leading independent research center in nanoelectronics and nanotechnology. Its research focuses on the next generations of chips and systems, and on the enabling technologies for ambient intelligence. IMEC's research bridges the gap between fundamental research at universities and technology development in industry. Its unique balance of processing and system know-how, intellectual property portfolio, state-of-the-art infrastructure and its strong network of companies, universities and research institutes worldwide, position IMEC as a key partner with which to develop and improve technologies for future systems. IMEC is headquartered in Leuven, Belgium and has representatives in the US, China and Japan. Its staff of more than 1300 people includes over 400 industrial residents and guest researchers. In 2004, its revenues were EUR 159 million.

SEMATECH is the world's catalyst for accelerating the commercialization of technology innovations into manufacturing solutions. By setting global direction, creating opportunities for flexible collaboration, and conducting strategic R&D, SEMATECH delivers significant leverage to our semiconductor and emerging technology partners. In short, we are accelerating the next technology revolution. SEMATECH, the SEMATECH logo, AMRC, Advanced Materials Research Center, ATDF, the ATDF logo, Advanced Technology Development Facility, ISMI and International SEMATECH Manufacturing Initiative are servicemarks of SEMATECH, Inc.

Previous Page | News by Category | News Search

If you found this page useful, bookmark and share it on: