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SEMATECH starts extension work on immersion lithography

09 September 2005 | By Syanne Olson | News > Wafer Processing

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SEMATECH has received a key tool for exploring the extension of immersion lithography to produce advanced semiconductors at the 45nm half-pitch lithography generation and beyond, according to the R&D centre on September 1st. The tool, an interference immersion exposure system from Amphibian Systems, will be placed in the Immersion Technology Center (iTC), which focuses on extending immersion lithography beyond pure water-based approaches.

"The Amphibian is the latest in a series of highly engineered tools that will help to explore the ultimate limits of optical lithography," said Kevin Kemp, SEMATECH's lithography director. "It also puts Texas in the forefront of one of our industry's most promising R&D initiatives."

The Amphibian system is designed to study immersion lithography with novel fluids and resists at up to 1.5 NA. The tool consists of a 2mm exposure field size, a full range of polarization controls, and the ability to image both line patterns and contact features. A fluid delivery system allows for the use of water or alternative fluids, with the ability to change fluids rapidly between wafers. The system is fully enclosed in an ultra-clean environment.

The Amphibian equipment arrived in August and will be available for use by SEMATECH and researchers from its member companies and suppliers in September. SEMATECH played a key part in the early evaluation efforts of immersion lithography which has paved the way for further research that is required to meet cost effective lithography techniques ahead of the possible adoption of EUV lithography at the 32nm node.

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