Carl Zeiss lens ready in ASML’s 1900i immersion litho tools

July 19, 2007 – Carl Zeiss SMT says more than 10 of its Starlith 1900i immersion lithography optical lenses have been qualified for integration into ASML’s Twinscan XT:1900i wafer scanners, with one tool already shipped to an end user.

The lens is based on the company’s proprietary “catadioptric inline multimirror design” to enable a compact single-barrel configuration, and having an even number of mirrors means no image flip, resulting in full mask compatibility with conventional refractive systems, the company noted. The system has been demonstrated for volume chip production down to 40nm resolution.

“The complete set of production equipment is installed, and the whole supply chain is organized to support the expected steep production ramp up,” said Andreas Dorsel, SVP and GM of Carl Zeiss SMT’s lithography optics division, in a statement. ASML’s XT:1900i tool reportedly achieves NA=1.35, considered approaching the limit for water as an immersion litho fluid, so “we expect a rather long life cycle for this product,” he said.

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