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New Product: USHIO‚??s ‚??CHIPs‚?? ashing system designed for nano-imprint lithography

27 February 2011 | By Mark Osborne | Product Briefings > Lithography

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USHIO’s ‘CHIPs’ ashing system Product Briefing Outline: USHIO is to exhibit and participate in the SPIE Advanced Lithography 2011, highlighting a new nano-imprint VUV (Vacuum Ultra Violet) ashing system ‘CHIPs’ (Compact HiPower System), which is designed to be incorporated into nano-imprint lithography (NIL) equipment.

Problem: NIL is a lithography technology that transfers a circuit pattern by directly imprinting a template (or mold) with the circuit pattern on a work-piece (a resist-coated silicon, sapphire, or film substrate). It has the advantage of being a low-cost process, allowing large-area pattern transfer, and being suitable for mass-production. However, the NIL process faces the following challenges caused by putting a work-piece into contact with a template, which are becoming obstacles for fabricating finer patterns as well as enhancing productivity. Issues exist such as contamination of templates with resist residue and the deterioration of release property between a template and a work-piece. There is also an increase in resist fill time and fill failures to be contended with.
Wet- or dry-cleaning equipment needs to be separately installed to clean the templates used for a certain number of process cycles by removing them from the NIL equipment. This causes downtime, thus lowering the productivity. Also, the wet-cleaning equipment has some disadvantages: it has an insufficient cleaning capability, causes a risk of generating chemical residue, and requires additional processes such as drying and waste disposal. The dry-cleaning equipment using plasma, meanwhile, has disadvantages in that it causes damage to a work-piece and requires additional components such as a vacuum chamber.
    
Solution: In order to meet these challenges, USHIO developed its new nano-imprint VUV ashing system by applying and optimizing its lighting-edge technologies to NIL to achieve non-contact and damage-free high cleaning power using VUV light. In addition, the CHIPs can be incorporated into the NIL equipment to allow a reduction of the downtime of the NIL equipment as well as automation of the NIL process — thus enhancing the productivity and yield and thereby lowering the CoO of the NIL process.

Applications: Integrated ashing processing for nano-imprint lithography equipment

Platform: Use of VUV light allows a high-power, non-contact, and damage-free cleaning
process. The compact built-in design is suited for low-temperature processes (to the
enable NIL process to be automated). Neither an additional component for the wet-cleaning method nor a vacuum component for the dry-cleaning method is required.
Main Unit: 100 mm (W) x 300 mm (D) x 80 mm (H)

Availability: March 2011 onwards.

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