Winfried Kaiser: The 2020 SPIE Frits Zernike Award for Microlithography
Winfried Kaiser began his career in lens design at Carl Zeiss, moving rapidly through the ranks in technical management. Today, he is the company's senior vice president of product strategy as well as a Zeiss Fellow, the company's highest technical recognition. Kaiser is one of the key individuals who enabled Moore's Law by directing and leading the optical design and fabrication of state-of-the-art optical lens systems for advanced lithography, including EUV optics.
In the 90s, Kaiser was instrumental in encouraging Zeiss to be more conscious of the requirements of the chip industry by linking customer needs to optical lens properties, leading to new specifications and superior lens quality. In the 2000s, he worked with worldwide chip customers and ASML to drive the design and manufacture of higher NA lens systems and immersion lens systems, the latter of which have become the workhouse in the industry. In the current decade, he worked to design and fabricate top-notch EUV optics and illumination systems. An SPIE Fellow with multiple papers and presentations under his belt, Kaiser was also the inaugural chair of SPIE's "Soft- X-Ray and EUV Imaging Systems" conference.
"Winfried was a key figure in the development of immersion lithography optics, currently the industry's workhorse for the production of leading-edge ICs," notes SPIE Past President and retired ASML Chief Scientist William H. Arnold. "His nimble suggestions for modifications of an existing ArF lens led to a working prototype scanner, which was proven in the field very quickly thereafter. This led to three more lenses, each with higher numerical aperture, the latest being the Starlith 1900 series, thus far the most successful product in microlithographic projection optics. With experience spanning more than 30 years, Winfried's technical expertise and strategic leadership have influenced the transition of EUV lithography from development to the threshold of high-volume manufacturing."