ANTWERP, Belgium, Oct. 20 -- Extreme ultraviolet lithography (EUVL) is well on its way to commercialization, but several critical issues must be addressed to keep the technology on track, said experts at the second International EUVL Symposium, held Sept. 30-Oct. 2 in Antwerp, Belgium.
More than 350 lithography professionals representing approximately 80 companies from Europe, Asia and the US were shown evidence of technical progress in EUV areas, including advancements in high-power sources, defect-free mask reticles and high numerical aperture reflective optical systems. EUV lithography is a new way of printing circuit patterns onto silicon that uses xenon gas and microscopic reflectors instead of lasers and lenses.
Rob Hartman, general chair of the symposium and chairman of the European EUV Cluster steering council, said, "We recognize a strong drive for developing EUV technology but would like to see more firm commercial commitments from semiconductor companies."
The symposium steering group said there are six critical issues facing the industry: source output power and lifetime, including condenser optics lifetime; availability of defect-free masks; reticle protection during storage, handling and use; projection and illuminator optics lifetime; resist resolution, sensitivity and line width reduction; and optics quality for the 32-nm node.
Advancements in EUV mask blank development and resist testing were also discussed, and updates were provided on Japan's efforts to develop radiation sources, optics and exposure tools.
The symposium was organized by ASML, a Netherlands-based chip maker; and Interuniversity MicroElectronics Center, a European research center; in conjunction with International SEMATECH, a global semiconductor technology development consortium; Micro-Electronics for European Applications, a European program for cooperative research and development in microelectronics; and Japan's Association of Super-Advanced Electronics Technology.
The third International EUVL Symposium will be held November 1-4, 2004, in Miyazaki, Japan.
For more information, visit: www.imec.be