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: Security CTO to detail Android Fake ID flaw at Black Hat

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

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

Microsoft unveils Xbox in China as it faces probe

3 hours ago

Microsoft on Wednesday unveiled its Xbox game console in China, the first to enter the market after an official ban 14 years ago, even as it faces a Chinese government probe over business practices.

Teens love vacation selfies; adults, not so much

3 hours ago

(AP)—Jacquie Whitt's trip to the Galapagos with a group of teenagers was memorable not just for the scenery and wildlife, but also for the way the kids preserved their memories. It was, said Whitt, a "selfie ...

Tiny UAVs and hummingbirds are put to test

4 hours ago

Hummingbirds in nature exhibit expert engineering skills, the only birds capable of sustained hovering. A team from the US, British Columbia, and the Netherlands have completed tests to learn more about the ...

US spy agency patents car seat for kids

7 hours ago

Electronic eavesdropping is the National Security Agency's forte, but it seems it also has a special interest in children's car seats, Foreign Policy magazine reported Wednesday.

User comments : 0