Micropatterning Director at TSMC suggests e-beam lithography may replace EUV

Feb 23, 2012 by Bob Yirka weblog

(PhysOrg.com) -- Most integrated circuits today are made by using extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography technology, but that could change, according to Burn Lin, Micropatterning Director at Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, Ltd (TSMC) who was speaking at a SPIE Alternative Lithography Conference in San Jose last week. He says that as manufactures seek to make ever smaller and denser chips, EUV could lose its edge in allowing the industry to follow Moore’s law. The answer he says, may turn out to be switching to electron beam (e-beam) lithography.

When e-beam lithography was first discovered, it was widely panned as being too slow to work in a manufacturing environment. Write times were on the order of a whole day, which was seen as more than enough time for all manner of defects to creep into the process. Thus, companies, such as TSMC have continued to use the tried and true EUV method.

Lithography is a type of printing technology. Originally it was a way to make a stamp out of a stone or metal plate without resorting to etching. Wax was applied to the plate and images were etched into it. Ink was then applied and the plate pressed against paper to produce the final product.

Modern lithography follows much the same principal to make , except that ultraviolet light is used to chemically alter the material or film which is known in the industry as a resist. Afterwards, those parts of the resist changed by the light can be removed, leaving behind a structure that can be used as part of a wafer. E-beam lithography tool produced by MAPPER and tested by would replace EUV with 110 electron beams focused on the resist allowing for the creation of much smaller circuits.

Lin says that advances in micromachining technology as well as those in performance have improved with e-beam lithography and that changing from a 300mm wafer size to 450mm could make e-beam the way to go in the future. He says doing so would allow manufactures to reduce costs by fifty seven percent. He also said he believes the process would be capable of producing 150 wafers per hours, which is comparable to EUV systems.

Explore further: A bump circuit with flexible tuning ability that uses 500 times less power

More information: via IEEE and Semimd

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Significant Achievements in Intel's EUV Lithography Program

Aug 02, 2004

Intel Corporation today revealed two significant milestones in the development of extreme-ultraviolet (EUV) lithography, a technology for making future microprocessors. The company installed the world's first commercial EUV li ...

Plasma etching pushes the limits of a shrinking world

Nov 10, 2011

Plasma etching (using an ionized gas to carve tiny components on silicon wafers) has long enabled the perpetuation of Moore's Law -- the observation that the number of transistors that can be squeezed into an integrated circuit ...

Recommended for you

HP sales inch up while profit drops

4 hours ago

Hewlett-Packard on Wednesday reported that its quarterly revenue was nudged up by improved computer sales, but its profit dropped as the veteran technology firm tried to renew its momentum.

Giant tablets aimed at families

5 hours ago

Costing a little more than an iPad but standing more than twice as tall, a new pair of giant tablets wants families to share cozier group experiences with technology.

Restaurants experimenting with pay-in-advance tickets

7 hours ago

With restaurant patrons increasingly jumping on the Internet to make reservations, some high-end eateries here and across the country are adding a new tech wrinkle: having their clientele pay for their meal in advance using ...

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

guiding_light
5 / 5 (1) Feb 28, 2012
Your first sentence is quite wrong, should be: Most integrated circuits today are made by using deep ultraviolet (DUV) lithography technology. This includes immersion lithography, which Lin also pioneered. EUV systems are not used in manufacturing. Their throughputs are less than 10 WPH.