Breakthrough Computer Chip Lithography Method Developed at RIT

Feb 10, 2006
Bruce Smith
Bruce Smith: RIT professor of microelectronic engineering and director of the Center for Nanolithography Research

A new computer chip lithography method under development at Rochester Institute of Technology has led to imaging capabilities beyond that previously thought possible.

Leading a team of engineering students, Bruce Smith, RIT professor of microelectronic engineering and director of the Center for Nanolithography Research in the Kate Gleason College of Engineering, developed a method—known as evanescent wave lithography, or EWL—capable of optically imaging the smallest-ever semiconductor device geometry. Yongfa Fan, a doctoral student in RIT’s microsystems engineering Ph.D. program, accomplished imaging rendered to 26 nanometers —a size previously possible only via extreme ultraviolet wavelength, Smith says. By capturing images that are beyond the limits of classical physics, the breakthrough has allowed resolution to smaller than one-twentieth the wavelength of visible light, he adds.

The development comes at least five years sooner than anticipated, using the International Technology Roadmap for Semiconductors (public.itrs.net) as a guide, Smith says. The roadmap, created by a consortium of industry groups, government organizations, universities, manufacturers and suppliers, assesses semiconductor technology requirements to ensure advancements in the performance of integrated circuits to meet future needs.

“Immersion lithography has pushed the limits of optical imaging,” Smith says. “Evanescent wave lithography continues to extend this reach well into the future. The results are very exciting as images can be formed that are not supposed to exist.”

Evanescent wave lithography is an “enabling technology” permitting better understanding of how building blocks are created for future microelectronic and nanotechnology devices—the technology that consumers will use over the next five to 10 years, Smith explains.

Smith will present research at Microlithography 2006, a symposium sponsored by the International Society for Optical Engineering, on Feb. 22, in San Jose, Calif.

Source: Rochester Institute of Technology

Explore further: Dubai plans to build 3-D printed office building

Related Stories

Silver nanocubes make super light absorbers

Dec 06, 2012

Microscopic metallic cubes could unleash the enormous potential of metamaterials to absorb light, leading to more efficient and cost-effective large-area absorbers for sensors or solar cells, Duke University ...

Recommended for you

Dubai plans to build 3-D printed office building

10 minutes ago

The United Arab Emirates says the Gulf commercial hub of Dubai will soon add the world's first office building made using three-dimensional printer technology to its collection of eye-catching buildings.

New capability takes sensor fabrication to a new level

1 hour ago

Operators must continually monitor conditions in power plants to assure they are operating safely and efficiently. Researchers on the Sensors and Controls Team at DOE's National Energy Technology Laboratory ...

New approach to online compatibility

1 hour ago

Many of the online social networks match users with each other based on common keywords and assumed shared interests based on their activity. A new approach that could help users find new friends and contacts with a greater ...

Smart phones spot tired drivers

2 hours ago

An electronic accelerometer of the kind found in most smart phones that let the device determine its orientation and respond to movement, could also be used to save lives on our roads, according to research ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.