EUV lithography project launches for better resolution at 14nm

August 3, 2012 — The German Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) has launched a new project, EUV projection optics for 14 nm resolution, or ETIK, led by Carl Zeiss. The aim is to improve extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography resolution to the 14nm node for semiconductor manufacturing.

The BMBF is putting up 7 million euros over 3 years for the project. Compared to existing lithography processes, EUV lithography works with extremely short-wave light with a wavelength of just 13.5nm. The aim is to use EUVL for tighter-geometry semiconductor chips, reducing the cost of electronics by manufacturing more semiconductors per wafer.

Project partners will focus on the EUV illumination system and projection optics. One example is a flexible optical switching unit that will use new facets and an innovative design for the reflection mirror surfaces in the projection lens. They also plan to investigate improvements in optical measuring technology and precision engineering and micro-cooling technology.
Along with Carl Zeiss, six other German companies and research institutes will participate:

Bestec GmbH is developing machine concepts for a new generation of reflectometers to measure the EUV reflectivity of large mirror surfaces.

The Institute for Technical Optics (University Stuttgart) is developing flexible setting measuring technology for mirrors with a new type of surface geometry.

IMS CHIPS is contributing powerful optical components to ensure the quality of the projection lens.

The Fraunhofer institutes for Electron Beam and Plasma Technology (FEP), for Applied Optics and Precision Engineering (IOF) and for Material and Beam Technology (IWS) are providing scientific-technical services to further improve the surface quality of reflective optical components.

Carl Zeiss is the global leader in optical systems for EUV lithography. These optical systems are part of the wafer scanners of the Dutch company ASML. Learn more at

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