DSA, EUV, nanopatterning are top themes at SPIE Advanced Lithography

Progress through collaborative efforts in directed self-assembly (DSA), the state of the art in nanoimprint technology, 3D approaches to scaling, and the latest on extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography research were hot topics at the recent SPIE Advanced Lithography symposium in San Jose.

Sponsored by SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics, the event marked its 39th year this year, continuing to draw the international community annually to focus on major challenges facing the industry. “This is where you meet your peers, everybody that matters in this business,” said Roel Gronheid of IMEC.

More than 2,360 researchers, developers, suppliers, venture capitalists, and entrepreneurs attended the week-long event, which included well-attended technical conferences, educational courses, spirited panel discussions, and an exhibition. Overall attendance was up about 6 percent over 2013, continuing a growth trend of recent years that reflects the health of the semiconductor industry.

The busy 61-company exhibition included university spin-offs looking to license new technology to interested companies, first-time exhibitors seeking new customers and suppliers, and long-time exhibitors and event sponsors recruiting employees and refreshing existing business contacts. As Paolo Petroni of Aselta Nanographics noted, “Advanced Lithography is a crucial place to meet the right people.”

Petroni and other attendees stressed the value of the comprehensive conference program for making connections.

“The advantage of a symposium that covers nearly every aspect of nanopatterning was particularly evident for the topic of multiple patterning, which involves aspects relevant to all of the seven conferences that comprise Advanced Lithography,” said 2014 symposium chair Harry Levinson of GLOBALFOUNDRIES. “What makes the meeting so vital is having many excellent lithographers in one location.”

Gronheid was among those who noted that while work is still needed, DSA development is moving forward, with early prototype devices demonstrating good results. Gronheid said he envisions future devices that combine capabilities of DSA with those of complementary technologies, including EUV.

Papers by Anthony Yen and Jack Chen of TSMC, Mark Phillips of Intel, and others described current status of the technology and challenges for EUV production — developing a reliable, production-worthy source with suitable output power to enable sufficient energy density at the work surface, meeting overlay requirements in multi-pass patterning approaches, and controlling photomask yield and defect printability.

Non-EUV solutions toward attaining the 7nm node were explored in the format of a mock-trial panel discussion that examined timelines, imaging capabilities, and design rules and other issues.

Other panels discussed topics such as 3D approaches for scaling, managing EUV masks in the wafer fab, and extending the end of CMOS through nanotechnology.

Awards presented by SPIE Immediate Past President Bill Arnold (ASML) included:

  •     Mordy Rothschild (MIT, Lincoln Lab), the 2014 Frits Zernike Award in Microlithography for accomplishments furthering the development of semiconductor lithographic imaging solutions
  •     Martin Richardson (CREOL, College of Optics and Photonics, University of Central Florida), the 2013 Harold E. Edgerton Award for contributions to the understanding of high-speed physical phenomena
  •     Frank Abboud (Intel), Fellow of SPIE.

Synopses of panel discussions, plenary talks, and several technical papers are featured in the event news blog from on-site along with best paper and more award information, photos, and video, at http://www.spie.org/ALnews.

Accepted papers are being published in the SPIE Digital Library as soon as approved, to be followed by publication in print volumes and digital collections.

SPIE Advanced Lithography 2015 will return to the San Jose Convention Center, running 22-26 February. Mircea Dusa of ASML is symposium chair, and Bruce Smith of the Rochester Institute of Technology is symposium co-chair.


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