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: X-ray detector on plastic delivers medical imaging performance

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

Hundreds in Mexico protest telecommunications law

2 minutes ago

Hundreds of students and activists marched in Mexico's capital Tuesday to protest a telecommunications law being debated by the Senate that they say will allow the government to arbitrarily censor Internet content.

Microsoft expands ad-free Bing search for schools

5 minutes ago

Microsoft is expanding a program that gives schools the ability to prevent ads from appearing in search results when they use its Bing search engine. The program, launched in a pilot program earlier this year, is now available ...

Bloomberg invests $5M in solar-powered lamp

12 hours ago

Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg's foundation has announced a $5 million investment in an artsy-looking solar-powered lamp designed for use in off-grid populations in Africa.

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.

More news stories

Old tires become material for new and improved roads

(Phys.org) —Americans generate nearly 300 million scrap tires every year, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Historically, these worn tires often end up in landfills or, when illegally ...

Mantis shrimp stronger than airplanes

(Phys.org) —Inspired by the fist-like club of a mantis shrimp, a team of researchers led by University of California, Riverside, in collaboration with University of Southern California and Purdue University, ...

Volitional control from optical signals

(Medical Xpress)—In their quest to build better BMIs, or brain-machine-interfaces, researchers have recently begun to look closer at the sub-threshold activity of neurons. The reason for this trend is that ...