February 28, 2007 – Nikon Corp. says it has shipped its newest ArF immersion lithography scanner, the NSR-S610C, to an unnamed IC manufacturer for 45nm production work and 32nm development. The selection came after a “one-year, head-to-head evaluation,” according to Kazuo Ushida, president of Nikon Precision Equipment Co.
The tool incorporates a NA=1.3 projection lens and the company’s “tandem-stage” platform, a proprietary nozzle design, and an airless fluid handling process (300ml/min) instead of an air curtain. The company reports a single tool overlay specification of <6.5nm and 4.5ml aberrations in the three-mirror catadioptric projection lens. More data on what the Nikon system does is in the Feb. 2007 issue of MLW.