BMBF Project for New Chip Fabrication Technology Successfully Completed
Carl Zeiss delivers the first EUV lithography optics
Alignment of EUV optics
October 29, 2012
BERLIN/Germany, OBERKOCHEN/Germany, 29.10.2012.
The "Lithography for the 22 nanometer node" project, led by Carl Zeiss, has been successfully completed. This national project
was part of the European EXEPT Project ("Extreme UV Litho- graphy Entry Point Technology Development") led by the Dutch company
ASML, as part of the CATRENE Cluster. During the project, two Carl Zeiss companies and six other German companies and research
facilities developed EUV lithography from the basic research stage to a technology which can be fully implemented for the volume
production of microchips on the 22 nanometer node. Through EUV technology, Carl Zeiss and its partners play their part in the
semiconductor industry's drive towards smaller, more efficient, more environmentally friendly and more affordable microchips.
The project was supported by the German Federal Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF) to the tune of approx. 16 million
euros in total.
EUV is an optical lithography procedure which uses extreme ultraviolet light to transfer integrated circuits to microchips.
The production of a demonstrator of a first EUV projection system marked the attainment of a key project goal of
Carl Zeiss SMT GmbH. The foundation was thus laid for supplying strategic partner ASML with key components of the EUV scanner
in the future. "The successful collaboration for the further develop- ment of this crucial technology helped further strengthen
the leading role of German companies in the area of microelectronics," summed up Dr. Hermann Gerlinger, Member of the
Executive Board of Carl Zeiss AG and CEO of Carl Zeiss SMT GmbH. "We support the German site. Tar- geted support, like that
from BMBF, supports us in expanding the necessary competencies."
Within the scope of the project, the partners had developed the projection system required for the lithography process, together
with the necessary infrastructure. The contributions of Carl Zeiss SMT GmbH (Oberkochen) included a more powerful projection lens,
a highly flexible illumination system without loss of energy, and the high-accu- racy measuring systems necessary for their
qualification. IMS Chips (Stuttgart) supplied new optical elements for the precision measurement of the EUV mirror.
Carl Zeiss SMS GmbH (Jena, Rossdorf) developed mask repair processes for EUV photo masks, and was supported by the Fraunhofer
Institute for Integrated Systems and Device Technology (FhG IISB, Erlangen) in carrying out theoretical experiments using special
EUV simulation software. Bruker ASC GmbH (Cologne) developed EUV/XUV-based metrology solutions which can be used in reflectometers
for the optical characterization of EUV masks, among other applications. SÜSS MicroTec Photomask Equipment GmbH & Co. KG
(Sternenfels) provided process facilities and processes for the cleaning and automated handling of the EUV masks, while
Dynamic Microsystems GmbH (DMS, Radolfzell) provided facilities for the cleaning and decontamination of the EUV mask transport
containers. The facilities and processes supplied by these two companies fulfill the highest cleanliness specifications.
The Advanced Mask Technology Center GmbH & Co. KG (AMTC, Dresden) developed appropriate cleaning technologies for 20 nanometer
technology EUV masks.
The project is also starting to bear fruit from a commercial viewpoint. Alongside Carl Zeiss, SÜSS MicroTec and DMS managed to
supply the first demonstrators and technologies developed within the scope of the project to customers around the world. Thus, each
of these companies has managed to carve out a place for itself in technology leadership and a significant position on the market.
Through EUV lithography, Carl Zeiss consistently adheres to Moore's law, which states that inte- grated circuits on microchips
double approxi- mately every 18 months. To transfer integrated circuits to microchips, EUV uses extreme ultra- violet light with
a wavelength of 13.5 nanometers The previous most modern lithography optics used a wavelength of 193 nanometers. EUV enables the
further miniaturization of integrated circuits, which significantly increases the performance of the microchips.
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