Semiconductor Equipment

Imec and AMSL to open High NA EUV lithography lab

04 June 2024

Innovation hub Imec is collaborating with semiconductor equipment vendor ASML Holding N.V. to open a high numerical aperture (High NA) extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography lab in Veldhoven, the Netherlands.

The High NA EUV Lithography Lab will provide logic, memory chip makers, materials and equipment suppliers access to the first prototype High NA EUV scanner as well as processing and metrology tools. The joint project will allow these companies to test use cases before the scanners will be operational in production fabs — likely to happen in the 2025 to 2026 timeframe, the companies said.

Access will be provided to the ecosystem of material and equipment suppliers as well as Imec’s High NA patterning program. Imec is preparing its extended ecosystem for the technology that includes development of:

  • Advanced resist and underlayer materials
  • Photomasks
  • Metrology and inspection techniques
  • Imaging strategies
  • Optical proximity correction
  • Integrated patterning and etch techniques

This work resulted in first exposures that showed the first time 10 nanometer dense lines (20 nm pitch) printed in Veldhoven on metal oxide resists (MORs) using the 0.55 NA EUV prototype scanner, the companies said.

“High NA EUV is the next milestone in optical lithography, promising the patterning of metal lines/spaces with 20 nm pitch in one single exposure and enabling next generations of DRAM chips,” said Luc Van den hove, president and CEO of Imec. “This will improve yield and reduce cycle time and even CO2 emissions compared to existing multi-patterning 0.33 NA EUV schemes. It will therefore be a key enabler to push Moore’s Law well into the ångström era.”

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