Extreme UV lithography focuses on semiconductor technology

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The Extreme Ultraviolet Lithography System Development Association (EUVA) has bought Powerlase’s Starlase AO8 lasers for continued research into next-generation semiconductor manufacturing.

The EUVA is working to perfect the use of discharge produced plasma (DPP) as a source for extreme ultraviolet lithography (EUVL). The Powerlase lasers will enable the development of the DPP source for lithography steppers, which are used for the fabrication of semiconductors. EUVL is the most likely technology to supersede current lithography techniques for high volume manufacture of semiconductors at 32nmhp and below.

DPP is one of two sources, along with laser produced plasma (LPP), capable of generating the 13.5nm light required for successful EUVL. The Starlase lasers are the only commercial laser capable of producing the high power, high-repetition source used to ignite DPP, creating the vital 13.5nm light and providing a more efficient manufacturing process than current lithography techniques.

Dr Samir Ellwi, Powerlase vice president of strategic technology, said: ‘The requirement for a viable EUVL technology is becoming increasingly important, as traditional techniques reach the end of their lifespan. As such, we are very pleased to begin a new phase of research with the EUVA. The continued partnership will ensure the deadline for the creation of a 32nm technique is achieved.’

The deal with EUVA is the latest in a string of partnerships Powerlase has undertaken in the EUVL sector. The company is currently engaged in research projects with the University of Central Florida (UCF) and University College Dublin (UCD).