Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Flat fixtures for EUV exposure

19.01.2009
Exposing silicon wafers to light during chip manufacture requires special fixtures called chucks. Novel electrostatic chucks made of glass ceramics are incredibly flat. This prevents structural distortions on the exposure mask and the silicon chip.

Smaller, even smaller, tiny. Miniaturization in chip manufacture is progressing at an impressive pace. Researchers continue to push the physical limits of semiconductor technology and are developing methods of making circuit elements even smaller and faster. At the same time, the associated processes are having to meet increasingly high requirements.


The experts predict a promising future for EUV lithography – lithography with extremely shortwave ultraviolet light. This works as follows: Light with a wavelength of 13 nanometers is guided through a reflection mask onto the silicon wafers, where it generates nanometer structures.

As the exposure processes take place in a vacuum, special fixtures are necessary to accommodate the silicon wafers and the exposure mask, and to hold them firmly in place. The technical term for these is chucks. Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Optics and Precision Engineering IOF have developed exceptionally precise electrostatic chucks for EUV lithography.

“The chucks need to be extremely smooth and even,” says Fraunhofer IOF scientist Dr. Gerhard Kalkowski. “If they are not super-flat, the result is height deviations in the mask, which lead to structural distortions on the silicon chips.” The IOF researchers are using special glass materials and have developed new technologies to increase the levelness of the chucks, with excellent results: While height deviations of over 100 nanometers had been measured previously, the new material reduced them to 74 nanometers, setting a new record. The chuck and the mask virtually merge into a single plane.

The IOF chucks also have other advantages: “The material guarantees high holding strengths, distributed across the entire surface, and reduces abrasion,” says Kalkowski. Two properties of great importance to the EUV exposure process.

The researchers’ findings will greatly benefit the chip industry, as chip manufacturers rely particularly on the stability and precision of the chucks in order to be able to use EUV lithography in mass production. Meanwhile, the IOF researchers are working towards their next goal: flatter than 50 nanometers.

Dr. Gerhard Kalkowski | alfa
Further information:
http://www.iof.fraunhofer.de
http://www.fraunhofer.de/EN/press/pi/2009/01/ResearchNews012009Topic3.jsp

More articles from Information Technology:

nachricht Rules for superconductivity mirrored in 'excitonic insulator'
08.12.2017 | Rice University

nachricht Smartphone case offers blood glucose monitoring on the go
08.12.2017 | University of California - San Diego

All articles from Information Technology >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Scientists channel graphene to understand filtration and ion transport into cells

Tiny pores at a cell's entryway act as miniature bouncers, letting in some electrically charged atoms--ions--but blocking others. Operating as exquisitely sensitive filters, these "ion channels" play a critical role in biological functions such as muscle contraction and the firing of brain cells.

To rapidly transport the right ions through the cell membrane, the tiny channels rely on a complex interplay between the ions and surrounding molecules,...

Im Focus: Towards data storage at the single molecule level

The miniaturization of the current technology of storage media is hindered by fundamental limits of quantum mechanics. A new approach consists in using so-called spin-crossover molecules as the smallest possible storage unit. Similar to normal hard drives, these special molecules can save information via their magnetic state. A research team from Kiel University has now managed to successfully place a new class of spin-crossover molecules onto a surface and to improve the molecule’s storage capacity. The storage density of conventional hard drives could therefore theoretically be increased by more than one hundred fold. The study has been published in the scientific journal Nano Letters.

Over the past few years, the building blocks of storage media have gotten ever smaller. But further miniaturization of the current technology is hindered by...

Im Focus: Successful Mechanical Testing of Nanowires

With innovative experiments, researchers at the Helmholtz-Zentrums Geesthacht and the Technical University Hamburg unravel why tiny metallic structures are extremely strong

Light-weight and simultaneously strong – porous metallic nanomaterials promise interesting applications as, for instance, for future aeroplanes with enhanced...

Im Focus: Virtual Reality for Bacteria

An interdisciplinary group of researchers interfaced individual bacteria with a computer to build a hybrid bio-digital circuit - Study published in Nature Communications

Scientists at the Institute of Science and Technology Austria (IST Austria) have managed to control the behavior of individual bacteria by connecting them to a...

Im Focus: A space-time sensor for light-matter interactions

Physicists in the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics (run jointly by LMU Munich and the Max Planck Institute for Quantum Optics) have developed an attosecond electron microscope that allows them to visualize the dispersion of light in time and space, and observe the motions of electrons in atoms.

The most basic of all physical interactions in nature is that between light and matter. This interaction takes place in attosecond times (i.e. billionths of a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

AKL’18: The opportunities and challenges of digitalization in the laser industry

07.12.2017 | Event News

Blockchain is becoming more important in the energy market

05.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

New research identifies how 3-D printed metals can be both strong and ductile

11.12.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Scientists channel graphene to understand filtration and ion transport into cells

11.12.2017 | Materials Sciences

What makes corals sick?

11.12.2017 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>