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Collaboration Creates Smaller Chip Features

OBERKOCHEN and STUTTGART, Germany, April 1, 2014— A collaborative research agreement between Zeiss’ Semiconductor Manufacturing Technology business group and the Institut für Mikroelektronik Stuttgart (IMS CHIPS) has resulted in smaller chip features.

However, to produce nanopatterned optical components that can deliver even smaller, more powerful, more energy efficient and less expensive chip features, IMS CHIPS needed a high-tech electron beam writer that is smaller and less expensive than traditional equipment.

New smaller chip features made possible by nanopatterned optical components. Courtesy of Zeiss.

Zeiss and the federal state of Baden-Württemberg provided the equipment.

“The powerful electron beam lithography system enables us to apply highly complex microstructures to a wide variety of substrates with nanometer precision," said Dr. Joachim Burghartz, director and board chairman at IMS CHIPS. A high degree of accuracy and resolution will be required to produce the nanopatterned components.

"Collaborative projects like this enable us to transfer research findings into our technology and process development work and, ultimately, into new products,” said Winfried Kaiser, senior vice president of product strategy for Lithography Optics at Zeiss.

The use of high-precision lithography systems has already enabled Zeiss to develop and improve manufacturing processes for highly complex optics currently used in wafer scanners, which are a crucial element in fabricating chips. IMS CHIPS’ work with nanopatterning will further enhance this.

The work is being funded by Zeiss and the federal state of Baden-Württemberg.

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