January 21, 2004 – ASML and European research center IMEC have extended their collaboration on immersion lithography with the planned launch of an industrial affiliation program for 193nm liquid immersion lithography, in addition to IMEC’s existing 157nm lithography program.
The two-year program, scheduled to start in mid-2004, will explore immersion-specific processing effects, including the interaction of resist-water on lithographic performance and defect mechanisms and development of a liquid immersion process. It will also address immersion-induced imaging effects, and research high-NA polarization effects — a lens of NA > 1.0 is required for 193nm immersion lithography at the 45nm node.
As part of the collaboration, ASML will become a strategic partner in IMEC’s 300mm research platform, with its TwinScan XT:1250i immersion tool to be installed in IMEC’s 300mm cleanroom in 4Q04.
“IMEC and ASML intend to continue this partnership with follow-on programs on 193nm immersion and, in due course, EUV lithography,” said IMEC’s Luc Van den Hove, VP, silicon process and device technology.