editor's blog
Subscribe Now

Pressing Vinyl (Or Something Similar)

You’d think a complete new technology for patterning silicon would merit a long, involved story. And yet it’s just not that complicated. (Easy for me to say…) One of the up-and-coming lithography processes under development is called “nanoimprint lithography” (NIL). It might be hard to imagine that this would work, but, just like it sounds, it involves taking a master “stamp” and impressing it into a liquid resist.

You then harden the resist with some exposure to UV light and release the master. The pattern on the wafer can then direct further more standard processing.

The crazy thing about this is that nanometer-scale features can print. You’d think that the liquid might have trouble conforming to such miniscule hollows in the template. And some of the issues you might think could arise – like parts of the pattern slumping or collapsing after the template is removed – truly are issues that are being studied and addressed.

Right now, researchers are working in the 26-nm realm (according to presentations at SPIE Litho), but they are trying to use the same process as HGST used for their hard drive project – creating working templates from a master template. Quality is still a challenge for those working templates, making this most suitable for applications having large-scale repeated features for which redundancy can be provided for repair.

The presenter from Dai Nippon Printing said that full production is targeted for two years out. We’ll continue to track it… If you get the SPIE Litho proceedings, you can find more in paper 8680-2.

Leave a Reply

featured blogs
Mar 25, 2019
The 2018 AI Index Report , developed by scientists and researchers in the AI field was recently released. This report uses quantitative data, such as publication counts or mentions of AI, to assess... [[ Click on the title to access the full blog on the Cadence Community sit...
Mar 22, 2019
In the video above, it might not appear that much is taking place, but just like with transformers there is “more than meets the eye.” Alright, that was corny, and I am mildly ashamed, but Nanosecond Event Detection for shock and vibration is nothing to be ashamed...
Mar 21, 2019
A Race to the Finish: Announcing the Winners of the 2019 3D InCites Awards Mentor Embedded Linux launch targets enterprise-class gap Using AI Data For Security How to optimize your testbench-to-DUT connections VCSEL Technology Takes Off A Race to the Finish: Announcing the...
Jan 25, 2019
Let'€™s face it: We'€™re addicted to SRAM. It'€™s big, it'€™s power-hungry, but it'€™s fast. And no matter how much we complain about it, we still use it. Because we don'€™t have anything better in the mainstream yet. We'€™ve looked at attempts to improve conven...