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Intel unveils EUV micro-exposure tool

Posted: 05 Aug 2004 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:exitech? euv photoresists? mask? micro-exposure tool? optical scanner?

Intel Corp. has installed an extreme ultraviolet (EUV) micro-exposure tool (MET) from Exitech Ltd at its development fab in Sta. Clara, California.

Using the 13.5nm EUV light, the tool is capable of exposing 30nm isolated lines, and Intel will use it to prove out the EUV photoresists and masks.

Intel plans to use the EUV approach at the 32nm node, which goes into volume manufacturing in 2009. The installation of the tool at the company's RP1 (research and pathfinding) fab brings EUV to what Intel calls the "path-finding" stage prior to high-volume manufacturing, said Sunlin Chou, Intel's senior VP in charge of manufacturing and technology.

EUV lithography is radically different than today's optical scanners, which operate in an ambient environment, with a plastic pellicle to protect masks from particles. EUV radiation is absorbed by all materials, and must operate in a vacuum without a pellicle.

Using reflective rather refractive optics, the 13.5nm light is directed to the wafer by precisely coated mirrors, with 40 multilayers of silicon and molybdenum to reflect the EUV wavelength.

With a field size of just 600?m2, the tool uses reflective optics made by Carl Zeiss AG (Jena, Germany). The small field size means that only two polished mirrors are needed, rather than the six mirrors that will be required for a full-field commercial tool.

Intel's MET tool is connected to a discharge pulsed plasma (DPP) source from Xtreme Technologies GmbH, a joint venture between Lambda Physik AG and Jenoptik AG with operations in Jena and Gottingen, Germany.

Chou said EUV "cannot be just a customized solution just for Intel. We don't expect all companies to adopt it at the same time. It is perfectly fine if we are the first users for the first number of years - that is where we will get our competitive advantage."

- David Lammers

EE Times

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