imec installs ASML’s pre-production EUV scanner

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Nanoelectronics research specialist, imec, has started the installation of ASML's pre-production Extreme UltraViolet Lithography (EUVL) scanner, the NXE:3100. ASML provides lithography systems for the semiconductor industry.

According to imec, the installation, which, pushes imec's EUVL research to the production stage, features a 'considerably higher' source power and optimised optics. The NXE:3100 uses a discharge produced plasma (dpp) EUV light source from Extreme Technologies, Ushio and has demonstrated a 20 x throughput performance increase compared with its EUV Alpha Demo Tool. The increase is based on power, higher transmission and dual stages. The EUVL research programme has been established to tackle scanner specific issues correlated to the difference between EUV and optical lithography through the integration of 14nm logic and 2xnm and 1xnm memory processes. Research will focus on resists that allow to optimally exploit the resolution of EUV by tackling line edge roughness and pattern collapse, and on reticle defectivity. Luc Van den hove, imec's president and ceo, said the acquisition of ASML's NXE:3100 in its research facilities will enable it to continue its partners the research they need to bring EUVL to production. "Our strategic relations with equipment suppliers such as ASML allow us to offer our partners research on the most advanced equipment."