Euro partners tout EUV infrastructure progress

September 6, 2006 – Focus GmbH and two German universities, Bielefeld and Mainz, working on a European Commission-sponsored project to develop extreme ultraviolet lithography (EUVL) technologies, say they have build a photoemission electron microscope capable of measuring features as small as 20nm without destroying the sample, a key step in development of EUV infrastructure. The researchers also recently were able to identify defects of 50nm hidden beneath the multilayer coating of a mask blank.

In EUV lithography, mask blank inspection keeps the sample intact during inspection, but methods such as scanning electron microscopy cannot identify defects hidden beneath the multilayer coating of the EUVL mask blank.

The companies are collaborating as part of More Moore, a three-year project led by ASML to promote the development of extreme ultraviolet lithography (EUVL) in Europe, and resolve technical problems of EUV lithography in order to ready the technology for volume production in chipmaking processes. Slated to complete its work later this year, the project is backed by GBP23.25 million in funding by the European Commission, and is part of the Information Society Technologies initiative under the sixth Framework Program for Research and Technological Development.

“We are proud that More Moore could contribute so significantly to the advancement of EUVL technology and are thankful for the EU support that makes this possible,” stated Rob Hartman, leader of the More Moore project, and director of ASML’s strategic technology program.

In December 2005, Xtreme Technologies GmbH, a joint venture between Jenoptik AG and Ushio Inc. developing light sources for extreme-ultraviolet (EUV) photolithography, revealed its own “More Moore” project work of a “proof of principle” 800W light source at origin, with up to 80W at the intermediate focus, approaching the 1kW output seen as a requirement for EUV use in volume production.

Participants include ASML, Phystex, Zeiss, AMTC, Philips EUV, Xtreme Technologies, FOCUS, SIGMA-C, AZ Electronic Materials, Schott Lithotec, Philips, XENOCS, Sagem Defense Securite, Imagine Optic, EPPRA, and Media Lario. Academic and research institutions participating in More Moore include IMEC, CEA-Leti, CNRS, TNO, FOM Rijnhuizen, Fraunhofer Institute, ISAN and IPM RAS (Russian Institutes of Science), ENEA, ELETTRA, and NCSR, as well as universities of Bielefeld, Mainz, Delft, and Birmingham.

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