22-09-2005 - Bruges, Belgium -- Demonstrating
significant progress in all aspects of the technology,
193nm immersion lithography is on track for insertion
into volume manufacturing, with good prospects for
extendibility to subsequent generations, concluded
industry experts at the 2nd International Symposium
on Immersion Lithography, held from 12 to 15 September
"With more than 380 lithographers attending the
2nd International Symposium on Immersion Lithography,
broad support to develop immersion lithography was
clearly shown," said Kurt Ronse, general chair of
the Symposium and Lithography Department Director
at IMEC. "This strong drive has resulted in significant
progress on all critical issues and a general acceptance
that immersion lithography will be a key technology
for 65nm and 45nm half pitch critical layer printing."
The latest timelines of the immersion scanner suppliers remain unchanged. Understanding
of resist and top coat interaction mechanisms with water is clearly under way
and continuous improvements have been reported. Defectivity is still a major
issue and will remain so. However, considerable progress has been achieved
compared to last year's Symposium with significant understanding of the immersion
defect generation mechanisms. Process defects are being widely explored now.
First solutions are in preparation which proves that immersion is on its way.
Other findings of the Symposium, reported in numerous presentations, included
- Tools in the field with NA < 1 are now yielding in process technology
development. The causes and impact of resist component leaching are increasingly
well understood, and processes without topcoats have been demonstrated.
- Hyper NA scanners (NA > 1) are taking full advantage of immersion and
are in preparation. They will reach the market within the coming year. Mask
polarization effects have been shown to be manageable, and full polarization
control of the illuminator has been described.
- For very high NA (> 1.3) initial studies on liquids and optical materials
have been started resulting in some candidate high index fluids which indicate
the feasibility of extending immersion beyond water and 45nm half pitch.
At the conclusion, the Symposium steering committee identified that
immersion lithography is now widely considered as the coming litho
technology. It is firmly on track for 65nm half pitch insertion into
volume manufacturing and extension to 45nm half pitch. Based on the
progress reported the list of critical immersion issues was updated
1. development of high index fluids to replace water;
2. development of high index lens materials;
3. resist development in terms of leaching, line edge roughness, refractive
4. development of solutions to further reduce immersion defectivity;
5. double exposure demonstration;
6. lens design including polarization control at NA >>1;
7. development of mask infrastructure to minimize polarization effects.
The Symposium, held September 12-15 in Bruges, Belgium, was organized
by IMEC and SEMATECH in cooperation with Selete. The next worldwide
193nm immersion forum - the 3rd International Symposium on Immersion
Lithography - will be held in Japan in September-October 2006.
SEMATECH is the world's catalyst for accelerating the commercialization
of technology innovations into manufacturing solutions. By
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delivers significant leverage to our semiconductor and emerging
technology partners. In short, we are accelerating the next
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IMEC is a world leading independent research center in nanoelectronics
and nanotechnology. Its research focuses on the next-generation of
chips and systems, and on the enabling technologies for ambient intelligence.
IMEC's research bridges the gap between fundamental research at universities
and technology development in industry. Its unique balance of processing
and system know-how, intellectual property portfolio, state-of-the-art
infrastructure and a strong network of companies, universities and
research institutes worldwide, positions IMEC as a key partner with
which to develop and improve technologies for future systems.
IMEC is headquartered in Leuven, Belgium and has representatives in
the US, China and Japan. Its staff of more than 1300 people includes
over 400 industrial residents and guest researchers. In 2004, its revenues
were EUR 159 million. Further information on IMEC can be found on
For more information:
Corporate Communication Manager
IMEC, Kapeldreef 75
B- 3001 Leuven, Belgium
Tel +32 16 28 18 80 Fax +32 16 28 16 37