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Duo collaborates to push nanoimprint litho

Posted: 09 Jul 2009 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:nanoimprint lithography? semiconductor? manufacturing devices?

Dai Nippon Printing Co. Ltd and Molecular Imprints Inc. have entered a strategic collaboration agreement aimed to hasten the commercialization of nanoimprint lithography for high-volume semiconductor device manufacturing. DNP will provide Molecular Imprints with funding and related support for the development of a new mask replication platform that will lower imprint mask production costs. This platform will help to establish imprint technology infrastructure needed for volume-production applications.

The mask replication platform development program will use Molecular Imprints' Jet and Flash Imprint Lithography (J-FIL) technology to replicate master imprint masks at higher throughputs compared with traditional mask e-beam writers. This will reduce total mask costs below the cost of current optical photomasks. The goal of the program is to develop mask replication technology that will be ready for commercial deployment for the 22nm half-pitch node.

Masks are a major component of lithography costs for advanced semiconductor manufacturing because of deep sub-wavelength imaging with complex mask techniques, double patterning, and limited mask lifetime due to haze. DNP has already demonstrated that 1X imprint masks can be made with existing photomask infrastructure. It remains to create low-cost replication technology that will reduce overall imprint mask cost of ownership. Such a technology platform is now being developed by Molecular Imprints.

J-FIL technology is built on the semiconductor industry's existing optical lithography infrastructure, using commercially available photomask, exposure source and resist technology. Its imprint lithography systems are a drop-in technology suitable for mix-and-match strategies, where their resolution and cost advantages can be deployed on critical layers. J-FIL technology offers 12nm resolution patterning in a single exposure using a simplified design and process. Imprint systems using J-FIL provide a highly extendible, low CoO patterning solution for multiple design generations.

"This collaboration with Molecular Imprints gives DNP an important advantage in the area of imprint lithography, and will enable us to lead the way in supporting the semiconductor industry's imprint mask needs," said Naoya Hayashi, research fellow at DNP.

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