February 23, 2006 – ASML Holding NV says it has produced images down to 42nm, at 84nm pitch and a 1-micron depth-of-focus in a 26 x 33 sq. mm field, on its Twinscan XT:1700i immersion lithography system (NA=1.2), noting a 30% improvement in resolution in dry tools. The system is slated for production in 2Q06. ASML also says it has received its first customer request to convert a scanner in the field from dry to immersion.
In addition to its immersion efforts, ASML also presented new results from its EUV ADT imaging qualification stage. The company said it has fully assembled the first of two EUV alpha demo tools, and qualified the metrology sensors, wafer and reticle stages, and material handling modules; the complete litho train including illuminator and projection optics is now in the final qualification process. Proof-of-concept 35nm images have already been obtained over the full slit of 26mm, the company claimed.
ASML aims to ship the industry’s first EUV tool, with 0.25NA optics, next quarter to both Albany NanoTech in New York and IMEC in Belgium.