JMAR awarded broad patent for X-ray lithography process

November 2, 2001 – San Diego, CA – JMAR Technologies Inc. a provider of precision micro- and nanotechnology products, said its JMAR/SAL NanoLithography Inc. (JSAL) division, Burlington, VT, has been awarded US patent number 6,295,332, titled “Method for Improving X-ray Lithography in the Sub-100nm Range to Create High Quality Semiconductor Devices.”

JMAR intends to incorporate the newly patented technology into its advanced lithography products, including its JSAL XRS 2000 X-ray lithography stepper systems. JMAR believes these technology-enhanced systems, when integrated with its advanced laser plasma X-ray sources at JMAR Research, will provide its customers with the ability to manufacture semiconductors for a broad range of commercial and military communications products and systems.

Included among those products are phased array radars, missile seeker devices, direct broadcast satellite TV receivers, wide-band wireless systems, global positioning satellite receivers, cellular telephones and a variety of surveillance systems.

The market for semiconductor lithography equipment is several billion dollars per year. JMAR estimates that the new integrated JSAL source/stepper XRL systems will sell from $6 to $10 million each, depending on their configuration and level of performance.

“This is a broad, global ‘mother patent’ covering the overall scope of much of our past XRL system research,” said JSAL Senior VP of Technology Robert Selzer. “Our new patent describes improved X-ray lithography systems that use horizontal beams from both point-sources and synchrotrons. To minimize the effects of temperature and airflow fluctuations it incorporates an environmental chamber into the system. For tighter process control it incorporates novel technology for transporting, handling and prealigning the semiconductor wafers and for precisely sensing positional accuracy. It also introduces alignment systems using clearly identifiable markers to provide unambiguous data for aligning one wafer processing level to the next. Furthermore, the system includes an in-line X-ray beam collimator, or concentrator, to direct the X-rays onto the mask/wafer target. By so doing, we expect the clarity of the sub-100 nanometer lithography images produced by our systems to be extremely sharp.”


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