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Obert R. Wood II and Akiyoshi Suzuki Recognized with 2019 Frits Zernike Award For Contributions to the Semiconductor Lithography Field

The dual recipients were honored during the 2019 SPIE Advanced Lithography conference

25 February 2019

2019 SPIE Frits Zernike Award

DUAL RECOGNITION: Wood, above left, and Suzuki, above right, received their awards from, left to right, SPIE President Jim Oschmann and Advanced Lithography Symposium Conference Chair Will Conley

BELLINGHAM, Washington, and San Jose, California - Today, at SPIE Advanced Lithography in San Jose, California, Obert R. Wood II and Akiyoshi Suzuki were presented with the 2019 Frits Zernike Award. The award is presented annually for outstanding accomplishments in microlithographic technology, especially those furthering the development of semiconductor lithographic imaging solutions. This year, the award has dual recipients: Wood is recognized for his pioneering contributions to extreme-ultraviolet (EUV) lithography, while Suzuki receives the award in recognition of his multiple innovations on all phases of lithography exposure tools.

Wood is a principal member of the technical staff in the strategic lithography technology department at GLOBALFOUNDRIES. He was on the technical staff at Bell Laboratories for 34 years, and has extensive experience in EUV lithography, ultrahigh-intensity lasers, and laser surgery. He received the Frits Zernike Award for his pioneering contributions to EUV lithography, from conception to the threshold of high-volume manufacturing.

"If someone were to ask me to name one person who has contributed more than anyone to EUVL, I would respond without any doubt that Obert Wood is that person," says SPIE Fellow Bruno La Fontaine, Senior Director at ASML. "He has made immense contributions to EUVL."

Part of Wood's pioneering work stems from the late 1980s when he built one of the first lithography systems using multilayer coated EUV mirrors, which led to the first high-quality images of sub-100-nm features in resist. This put EUVL (a.k.a. soft x-ray lithography at the time) solidly in the front of the list of contenders to succeed optical lithography. During the 90s and the early 2000s, Wood expanded his trailblazing research, publishing papers on multilayer mirrors, optical designs, optical testing, optics lifetime, aberrations and focus testing, sources, resists, masks, and metrology. As fully integrated systems were becoming available during the late 2000s, Wood proved that EUV lithography could be successfully integrated into normal semiconductor processing to produce working SRAM devices. This was a formidable advance toward the acceptance of EUV as the main technology to follow immersion lithography.

SPIE Fellow Akiyoshi Suzuki is also honored with the 2019 SPIE Frits Zernike Award in recognition of his innovations on all phases of lithography exposure tools, including proximity printing, projection steppers, projection scanners, 1X and reduction types, reflective and refractive types, g-line, I-line, 248 nm, 193 nm, and 13.5 nm.

During his 40-year career at Canon, Suzuki's contributions in microlithography, starting from contact to early projection systems, were pivotal. His early work in two-mirror wafer lithography systems, along with later two-mirror designs for flat-panel display lithography, have made an impressive impact on both the semiconductor and display industries. In 2014, Suzuki joined Gigaphoton as a technical advisor.

"Akiyoshi's portfolio of contributions is exceptionally broad and deep," says SPIE Fellow Andrew R. Neureuther of University of California, Berkeley. "This includes pioneering work on alignment, precision stages, immersion, ArF, F2, and double exposure. His nearly 100 US patents and well over 100 Japanese patents, which are nearly all in the field of microlithography, attest to this." Neureuther adds that throughout Suzuki's long career, he repeatedly made technology-extending contributions to proximity printing, i-line, DUV, and even EUV. "His solutions were practical and often leveraged his mathematical modeling of the physics of lithography."

SPIE presents multiple annual awards in recognition of technical achievements and public service in optics and photonics. Nominations for the 2020 awards may be submitted through 1 June, 2019. 

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