Status report: 1X mask infrastructure

Mask costs are rising ever higher to support deep sub-wavelength imaging, and now represent a significant component of the cost of lithography, Mark Melliar-Smith, CEO of Molecular Imprints, tells SST senior technical editor Debra Vogler. He expects the trend will dramatically worsen over the next couple of years as the industry pushes down to sub-40nm dimensions, at which point double patterning will double the cost impact of masks. “EUV masks are likely to be even more expensive due to the new blank and inspection technologies required,” he notes.

Imprint lithography is able to use the standard photomask technology of today and does not require double patterning, Melliar-Smith points out. “Recent results from companies such as DNP have shown that sub-25nm imaging is achievable today using standard industry mask processing equipment.”

Hear more about the company’s work to develop a 1X mask infrastructure during Melliar-Smith’s interview, below.


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