editor's blog
Subscribe Now

Fighting Fire with Fire?

Microscopy doesn’t get much attention in the general tech press (although we’re used to seeing really cool pictures taken by scanning electron microscopes (SEMs), whether they’re FinFET cross-sections or nematodes up close).

But in a wafer production line, you need inspection to identify, for example, whether a mask has a defect that could cause yield loss. You can see such defects using different light wavelengths, but the folks at Lawrence Berkeley have remarked that the wavelength makes a big difference in how things look.

So logic would suggest that, if you are looking for issues that will affect EUV exposure, then you should look at the target using the same light: EUV. So they’ve announced a project to develop what they call “the worlds most advanced [EUV] microscope,” called SHARP (Semiconductor High-NA Actinic Reticle Review Project… really??)

Lest this sound like no big deal, it will take 1½ years and $4.1M to do. And there are numerous technical challenges that parallel those of their photolithographic brethren (although at least they don’t have to develop a high-volume production source of EUV photons…). Most materials absorb EUV light, so you can’t use glass lenses; you have to use mirrors. Bizarrely, the lenses are “only slightly wider than a single human hair,” with high quality images magnified by up to 2000x.

More details on the features they’re designing can be found in their release

Leave a Reply

featured blogs
Dec 18, 2018
Cadence was recently named number 15 on the 2018 list of the World'€™s Best Multinational Workplaces, according to global research and consulting firm Great Place to Work® and Fortune Magazine.... [[ Click on the title to access the full blog on the Cadence Community ...
Dec 18, 2018
Building on their existing partnership, Avnet, a leading global technology solutions provider, and Samtec, today announced an extension of their distribution agreement. Avnet customers in Asia Pacific and Japan now have access to Samtec'€™s full product portfolio....
Dec 12, 2018
Solder on a PCB can be thought of as connective tissue. It serves as the conductive glue that sticks components to substrate and brings continuity to the circuit board....
Nov 14, 2018
  People of a certain age, who mindfully lived through the early microcomputer revolution during the first half of the 1970s, know about Bill Godbout. He was that guy who sent out crudely photocopied parts catalogs for all kinds of electronic components, sold from a Quon...