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Proceedings Paper

Evolution of ring-field systems in microlithography
Author(s): David M. Williamson
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Paper Abstract

Offner's ring-field all-reflecting triplet was the first successful projection system used in microlithography. It evolved over several generations, increasing NA and field size, reducing the feature sizes printed from three down to one micron. Because of its relative simplicity, large field size and broad spectral bandwidth it became the dominant optical design used in microlithography until the early 1980's, when the demise of optical lithography was predicted. Rumours of the death of optics turned out to be exaggerated; what happened instead was a metamorphosis to more complex optical designs. A reduction ring-field system was developed, but the inevitable loss of concentricity led to a dramatic increase in complexity. Higher NA reduction projection optics have therefore been full-field, either all-refracting or catadioptric using a beamsplitter and a single mirror. At the present time, the terminal illness of optical lithography is once again being prognosed, but now at 0.1 micro feature sizes early in the next millenium. If optics has a future beyond that, it lies at wavelengths below the practical transmission cut-off of all refracting materials. Scanning all-reflecting ring-field systems are therefore poised for a resurgence, based on their well-established advantage of rotational symmetry and consequent small aberration variations over a small, annular field. This paper explores some such designs that potentially could take optical lithography down to the region of 0.025 micron features.

Paper Details

Date Published: 21 September 1998
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 3482, International Optical Design Conference 1998, (21 September 1998); doi: 10.1117/12.322040
Show Author Affiliations
David M. Williamson, Silicon Valley Group (United Kingdom)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 3482:
International Optical Design Conference 1998
Leo R. Gardner; Kevin P. Thompson, Editor(s)

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