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Proceedings Paper

Marching of the microlithography horses: electron, ion, and photon: past, present, and future
Author(s): Burn J. Lin
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Paper Abstract

Microlithography patterning employs one of three media; electron, ion, and photon. They are in a way like horses, racing towards the mainstream. Some horses such as electrons run fast but repel each other. Ion beams behave like electron beams but are less developed. The photon beam is the undisputed workhorse, taking microlithography from the 5-&mgr;m minimum feature size to 32-nm half pitch. This paper examines the history of microlithography in pattern generation, proximity printing, and projection printing, then identifies the strong and weak points of each technology. In addition to ion-beam and e-beam lithography, the coverage of optical lithography spans the wavelength from 436 to 13.5 nm. Our learning from history helps us prevent mistakes in the future. In almost all cases, making or using the mask presents one of the limiting problems, no matter the type of beams or the replication method. Only the maskless method relieves us from mask-related problems. A way to overcome the low throughput handicap of maskless systems is to use multiple e-beam direct writing, whose imaging lens can be economically and compactly fabricated using MEMS techniques. In a way, the history of microlithography parallels that of aviation. Proximity printing is like the Wright-Brothers’ plane; 1X projection printing, single-engine propeller plane with unitized body; reduction step-and-repeat projection printing, multi-engine commercial airliner; scanners, jet airliners. Optical lithography has improved in many ways than just increasing NA and reducing wavelength just as the commercial airliners improving in many other areas than just the speed. The SST increased the speed of airliners by more than a factor of two just as optical resolution doubled with double exposures. EUV lithography with the wavelength reduced by an order of magnitude is similar to the space shuttle increasing its speed to more than 10 times that of the SST. Multiple-beam direct write systems are like helicopters. They do not need airports(masks) but we need a lot of beams to carry the same payload.

Paper Details

Date Published: 28 March 2007
PDF: 18 pages
Proc. SPIE 6520, Optical Microlithography XX, 652002 (28 March 2007); doi: 10.1117/12.720628
Show Author Affiliations
Burn J. Lin, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., Inc. (Taiwan)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6520:
Optical Microlithography XX
Donis G. Flagello, Editor(s)

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