and the University of Queensland (Brisbane, Australia)
will collaborate in a project that aims to develop
new resists for 193 nm immersion lithography, an
emerging technology for advanced semiconductor manufacturing.
Technologists from SEMATECH and the university will identify and qualify novel,
high-refractive-index polymers for 193 nm photoresists in an effort to extend
immersion lithography for multiple technology generations. This project is a
key component of a broader SEMATECH program to extend immersion through novel
high refractive index materials in three categories: resist, immersion fluids
and lens materials.
Immersion lithography combines the familiar 193 nm light wavelength with a refracting
fluid such as water to define patterns as narrow as 45 nm in advanced microchips.
Increasing the refractive index of photoresists, along with the immersion fluid
and lens material, offers the possibility of extending immersion lithography
to patterns as narrow as 32 nm.
Also, increasing just the refractive index of photoresists offers the possibility
to improve the process latitude of patterned features on a semiconductor wafer,
thereby extending the capability of a given lithography toolset.
A two-year grant for $510,000 Australian dollars from the Australian Research
Council (ARC) will be matched by SEMATECH with cash and in-kind contributions,
including access to advanced immersion lithography exposure tools through SEMATECH's
Immersion Technology Center, as well as project management and logistical resources.
The ARC is a government agency that funds research that can bring economic, social
and cultural benefits to the country.
"One of our basic objectives at SEMATECH is to maximize the world's R&D resources
through leverage and creative partnerships," said Michael R. Polcari, SEMATECH
president and CEO. "This agreement with ARC certainly exemplifies that aim, and
allows us to share expertise with a region that is seeking to become a world
leader in microelectronics."
SEMATECH's role in the project was defined by Will Conley, a Freescale assignee. "The
research of high-index polymers will provide the industry with an additional
avenue for the extension of optical lithography," Conley said. "The partnership
between SEMATECH and the University of Queensland already has yielded many interesting
material platforms, and this grant from the ARC will permit the further research
Professor Andrew Whittaker, director for the Centre for Magnetic Resonance
of the University of Queensland, said: "The support of SEMATECH on this project
enables the university to assemble a world-class team dedicated to synthesis
of novel resist polymers. From our perspective, the agreement with the ARC and
SEMATECH allows us to contribute to an exciting technology of great international
"From the point of view of the Australian economy, the funding provides employment
for talented young scientists, and provides a platform for continued research
within Australia in the field of photolithography."
The Australian grant for the project was described as one of the largest awarded
by the ARC in recent rounds of funding. "The materials to be developed are expected
to provide the basis of future generations of microchips," according to a project
summary that accompanied the grant. "A major outcome of this project will be
establishment of Australia as a world leader in this rapidly expanding field."
SEMATECH is the world's catalyst for accelerating the commercialization of
technology innovations into manufacturing solutions. By setting global direction,
creating opportunities for flexible collaboration, and conducting strategic
R&D, SEMATECH delivers significant leverage to our semiconductor and
emerging technology partners. In short, we are accelerating the next technology
SEMATECH, the SEMATECH logo, AMRC, Advanced Materials Research Center, ATDF,
the ATDF logo, Advanced Technology Development Facility, ISMI and International
SEMATECH Manufacturing Initiative are servicemarks of SEMATECH, Inc.
For more information, please visit www.sematech.org