FRANKLIN, Mass., March 2 -- Extraction Systems Inc. has launched a new research and development group to address protection of optical elements in advanced deep UV lithography systems. As the industry migrates to 193 nm lithography, optics contamination has surfaced as a key issue for semiconductor manufacturers. Molecular contaminants can react with the higher energy source found in 193 nm lithography and form films on exposed optical surfaces. If left unchecked, these contaminants will lead to optics performance degradation and shortened optical systems lifetimes. "Extraction's attention to optics contamination is a key part of our strategy going forward. The cost of the optics assembly used in 193 nm tools is the highest the industry has ever seen, and protection of these optics is a prime concern for our customers," said Devon Kinkead, president and CEO of Extraction Systems. "The industry's understanding of optical contamination risks is still in its infancy. By forming this R&D group, Extraction will continue its tradition of providing best-in-class molecular contamination monitoring and filtration technology." To lead this effort, Extraction has named Anatoly Grayfer director and senior scientist for the optics protection group. In this role, Grayfer will be responsible for leading a team of scientists in exploring optics contamination and protection issues and is charged with new product development, support of existing products and analytical services. He reports to Oleg Kishkovich, director of technology.