Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


UCF researchers' breakthrough may help industry create more powerful computer chips

Optics researchers demonstrate extreme ultraviolet light source 30 times more powerful than previously recorded attempts

A University of Central Florida research team has made a substantial inroad toward establishing extreme ultraviolet light (EUV) as a primary power source for manufacturing the next generation of computer chips.

The team, led by Martin Richardson, university trustee chair and UCF's Northrop Grumman professor of X-Ray optics, successfully demonstrated for the first time an EUV light source with 30 times the power of previous recorded attempts – enough to power the stepper machines used to reproduce detailed circuitry images onto computer chips.

The successful use of EUV light for this purpose marks a milestone in an industry-wide effort to create the most efficient and cost-effective power source for the next generation of chip production. Chips are now manufactured using longer-wavelength ultraviolet light sources.

The UCF breakthrough came as a result of a collaboration between Richardson and Powerlase Ltd., a company based in England. The company provided UCF with a powerful Starlase laser to combine with the specialized laser plasma source technology that the UCF team has developed. The unique technology combines the high conversion of laser light to EUV and effectively eliminates the neutral and charged particles that are associated with existing EUV plasma sources. If allowed to stream freely away from the source, those particles can harm the expensive optics used in EUV steppers.

The short wavelength, only 13.5 nanometers, and an uncontaminated light source are critical components for the stepper's ability to project ever-smaller circuitry onto chips.

In order to keep up with Moore's Law, a computer industry dictum written in 1965 that estimates a doubling of the number of transistors on a computer chip about every two years, significant technological changes have to be made in chip production, Richardson said.

"We must use a light source with a wavelength short enough to allow the minimum feature size on a chip to go down to possibly as low as 12 nanometers," Richardson said. The current industry standard for semiconductor production is approximately 65 nanometers. A nanometer is one-billionth of a meter; a sheet of paper is about 100,000 nanometers thick.

Richardson's EUV Photonics Laboratory, part of a broader effort on high-power laser applications that he runs, is focused on developing the EUV light source and advanced X-ray optical systems. Team members include graduate research assistant Kazu Takenoshita; graduate students Tobias Schmid, Simi George, Robert Bernath and Jose Cunado; and engineer Somak Teerawattanasook.

Research efforts have been aided by a 2004 donation of intellectual property and equipment valued in excess of $22 million to UCF's College of Optics and Photonics to support Richardson's EUV program.

Continued collaboration with industry groups such as Powerlase is allowing the work to advance exponentially, Richardson said.

"We are very excited to be able to collaborate with world-leading academic experts in the field of extreme ultraviolet sources," said Samir Ellwi, Powerlase's vice president of strategic innovations. "Our high-power, high-repetition short pulse Starlase laser is an ideal driver for the laser produced plasma EUV source."

Chad Binette | EurekAlert!
Further information:

More articles from Information Technology:

nachricht Next Generation Cryptography
20.03.2018 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Sichere Informationstechnologie SIT

nachricht TIB’s Visual Analytics Research Group to develop methods for person detection and visualisation
19.03.2018 | Technische Informationsbibliothek (TIB)

All articles from Information Technology >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Space observation with radar to secure Germany's space infrastructure

Satellites in near-Earth orbit are at risk due to the steady increase in space debris. But their mission in the areas of telecommunications, navigation or weather forecasts is essential for society. Fraunhofer FHR therefore develops radar-based systems which allow the detection, tracking and cataloging of even the smallest particles of debris. Satellite operators who have access to our data are in a better position to plan evasive maneuvers and prevent destructive collisions. From April, 25-29 2018, Fraunhofer FHR and its partners will exhibit the complementary radar systems TIRA and GESTRA as well as the latest radar techniques for space observation across three stands at the ILA Berlin.

The "traffic situation" in space is very tense: the Earth is currently being orbited not only by countless satellites but also by a large volume of space...

Im Focus: Researchers Discover New Anti-Cancer Protein

An international team of researchers has discovered a new anti-cancer protein. The protein, called LHPP, prevents the uncontrolled proliferation of cancer cells in the liver. The researchers led by Prof. Michael N. Hall from the Biozentrum, University of Basel, report in “Nature” that LHPP can also serve as a biomarker for the diagnosis and prognosis of liver cancer.

The incidence of liver cancer, also known as hepatocellular carcinoma, is steadily increasing. In the last twenty years, the number of cases has almost doubled...

Im Focus: Researchers at Fraunhofer monitor re-entry of Chinese space station Tiangong-1

In just a few weeks from now, the Chinese space station Tiangong-1 will re-enter the Earth's atmosphere where it will to a large extent burn up. It is possible that some debris will reach the Earth's surface. Tiangong-1 is orbiting the Earth uncontrolled at a speed of approx. 29,000 km/h.Currently the prognosis relating to the time of impact currently lies within a window of several days. The scientists at Fraunhofer FHR have already been monitoring Tiangong-1 for a number of weeks with their TIRA system, one of the most powerful space observation radars in the world, with a view to supporting the German Space Situational Awareness Center and the ESA with their re-entry forecasts.

Following the loss of radio contact with Tiangong-1 in 2016 and due to the low orbital height, it is now inevitable that the Chinese space station will...

Im Focus: Alliance „OLED Licht Forum“ – Key partner for OLED lighting solutions

Fraunhofer Institute for Organic Electronics, Electron Beam and Plasma Technology FEP, provider of research and development services for OLED lighting solutions, announces the founding of the “OLED Licht Forum” and presents latest OLED design and lighting solutions during light+building, from March 18th – 23rd, 2018 in Frankfurt a.M./Germany, at booth no. F91 in Hall 4.0.

They are united in their passion for OLED (organic light emitting diodes) lighting with all of its unique facets and application possibilities. Thus experts in...

Im Focus: Mars' oceans formed early, possibly aided by massive volcanic eruptions

Oceans formed before Tharsis and evolved together, shaping climate history of Mars

A new scenario seeking to explain how Mars' putative oceans came and went over the last 4 billion years implies that the oceans formed several hundred million...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Industry & Economy
Event News

New solar solutions for sustainable buildings and cities

23.03.2018 | Event News

Virtual reality conference comes to Reutlingen

19.03.2018 | Event News

Ultrafast Wireless and Chip Design at the DATE Conference in Dresden

16.03.2018 | Event News

Latest News

For graphite pellets, just add elbow grease

23.03.2018 | Materials Sciences

Unique communication strategy discovered in stem cell pathway controlling plant growth

23.03.2018 | Agricultural and Forestry Science

Sharpening the X-ray view of the nanocosm

23.03.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>