Helen Armer, Sokudo Co. Ltd., Kyoto, Japan
Dainippon Screen Mfg. Co. Ltd. and Applied Materials Inc. formed the Sokudo semiconductor coat/develop track joint venture in July 2006 to develop new track technologies that will enable users to meet the challenges of next-generation lithography processing. Sokudo’s goal is to offer users competitive and technically differentiated track products that can help keep the semiconductor industry on its roadmap to smaller linewidths.
Challenges for next-generation track systems
Track systems play a critical role in meeting the industry’s patterning challenges. They are used before and after the exposure step. First, photosensitive material (photoresist) is deposited onto a wafer using a spin-coat step, which is then followed by various bake and chill steps. The photoresist layer is what ultimately defines circuit patterns. After exposure, the track tool again bakes the resist, then develops the latent image within the photoresist.
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