September 16, 2005 – At the recent 2nd International Symposium on Immersion Lithography, held in Brugges, Belgium, the Interuniversity MicroElectronics Center (IMEC) presented the first conclusive exposure results on its newly upgraded ASML XT:1250i immersion lithography tool.
The data were obtained as a result of collaboration with ASML, one of 30+ members in the IMEC Industrial Affiliation Program on immersion lithography, which was formed with the intention of speeding the transition from dry to wet lithography in production environments. The results showed that better focus control in scanning over the edge improved critical dimension (CD) uniformity across the wafer 2x over data obtained with the first-generation immersion hardware. A new stage design improved overlay performance to comparable with dry 193nm lithography, and defectivity data showed defects reduced to 0.037 defects/cm2.
Luc Van den hove, VP, silicon process and device technology at IMEC, noted, “When the program started one year ago, we were able to provide our partners access to one of the first full-field step-and-scan systems from ASML. We are very proud that we can show our partners these unique and very positive results obtained on the upgraded system. They prove that the major critical issues for immersion lithography can be overcome, making immersion a viable and manufacturable technology for the 45nm node.”