Corning Tropel has introduced its AquaCat immersion micro-objective for next-generation semiconductor manufacturing. The lens assembly enables reduced linewidths and extends the capabilities of 193-nm chip fabrication technologies. Based on a proprietary MicroCat catadioptric micro-objective design, it employs immersion technology to increase numerical aperture and depth of focus and to achieve resolution of <100 nm. The images are projected through a thin layer of purified water that lies between the micro-objective and the silicon wafer. By incorporating the standardized lens assembly into semiconductor manufacturing tools, manufacturers eliminate the need for a custom-designed micro-objective for each tool that they develop, thus decreasing time to market and production costs.