The world's two leading centers for next-generation nanoelectronics research and development - the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering (CNSE) of the University at Albany in Albany, NY and IMEC in Leuven, Belgium - announced plans to jointly perform extreme ultraviolet lithography (EUVL) experiments in order to accelerate the introduction of EUVL into manufacturing. The first set of collaborative experiments will be carried out at CNSE's Albany NanoTech Complex, with future joint studies to be conducted at CNSE and IMEC, depending on throughput and/or availability of the tools.
This groundbreaking collaboration between CNSE and IMEC will also involve scientists from IBM and ASML, which has built the world's first full-field EUVL R&D tool, the Alpha Demo Tool (ADT). The majority of activities will focus on the advanced imaging capabilities of the EUVL system, with additional effort devoted to the understanding of new materials and various aspects of equipment technology.
The collaboration between CNSE, IMEC, IBM and ASML is expected to further advance the learning on EUVL technology and the associated infrastructure required to support it. Ultimately, this alliance is intended to effectively demonstrate the practical feasibility of EUVL and build confidence in the technology for the 32nm half pitch device node and below.
CNSE Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer Dr. Alain E. Kaloyeros said, "The UAlbany NanoCollege is pleased to partner with IMEC, the leading European R&D organization, and welcome our IMEC colleagues to CNSE's Albany NanoTech Complex, where together with our partners from IBM and ASML, we have a unique opportunity to enable significant advances in EUVL technology that are vital to the manufacturing of future generations of nanoelectronics devices. This pioneering initiative, made possible through the investments of the New York Assembly in the International Venture for Nanoelectronics Technologies (INVENT), further illustrates the success of the vision and leadership of Speaker Silver and the New York Assembly, whose investment and support have been critical in building a globally recognized centerpiece for high-tech research and development in the Empire State."
Luc Van den hove, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at IMEC said, "EUV lithography is a promising solution to further scale CMOS beyond the 32nm but still major challenges need to be overcome. As a leading nanoelectronics R&D center, IMEC sets up collaborations to enhance further semiconductor development. This collaboration between IMEC and the UAlbany NanoCollege proves again that joint R&D is a major benefit for the semiconductor industry worldwide. We look forward to building a great partnership with the UAlbany NanoCollege to advance the state of the art in nanoscale lithography."
CNSE Associate Vice President of Technology and Professor of Nanoscience Dr. James G. Ryan said, "Faculty, scientists and researchers at CNSE look forward to working with researchers from IMEC, IBM and ASML as part of this unique effort, which further reinforces our commitment to the development and commercialization of EUVL technology. This joint program gives us another opportunity to advance EUVL in support of the needs of our corporate partners and the nanoelectronics industry, and we anticipate a successful and fruitful collaboration."
Kurt Ronse, Lithography Program Director at IMEC added, "We are pleased with this collaboration which is a win-win situation for both IMEC and CNSE and the nanoelectronics industry. Since EUV is still in a development phase, the alpha demo tools have to be upgraded occasionally. By opening our facilities for each others EUV experiments, we can guarantee acceleration of EUV research to our industrial partners."