Thanks to a series of highly successful projects in the EUREKA MEDEA+ Cluster, Europe leads the way in extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography for the production of future generations of semiconductor chips. As a result of strong co-operation between chipmakers, equipment suppliers and research centres, European companies will dominate the world market for equipment and materials. This is expected to generate some 18,000 jobs, mainly at a high technical level, as well as a €1 billion turnover by 2009.
Lithography plays a key role in the production of integrated circuits and now accounts for some 35% of the processing cost of silicon chips. It involves directing light through a photomask to project an image of the desired circuit onto the silicon semiconductor wafer covered with a light-resistant photoresist. As circuit details become smaller and smaller, the wavelength of the light has also reduced and is reaching the limits of the deep ultraviolet range. The solution for future generations of even smaller dimensioned circuits is the use of EUV with a wavelength of 13.5 nm, which are actually considered as soft X-rays.
Covering the main elements of the lithography process
Catherine Shiels | alfa
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The Institute of Semiconductor Technology and the Institute of Physical and Theoretical Chemistry, both members of the Laboratory for Emerging Nanometrology (LENA), at Technische Universität Braunschweig are partners in a new European research project entitled ChipScope, which aims to develop a completely new and extremely small optical microscope capable of observing the interior of living cells in real time. A consortium of 7 partners from 5 countries will tackle this issue with very ambitious objectives during a four-year research program.
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Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.
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Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...
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