International EUVL Workshop Highlights Advantages and Challenges of EUV Lithography

Extreme ultraviolet lithography (EUVL) is the semiconductor industry's best bet for extending Moore's Law and its inherent advantages make it an increasingly preferable choice for next-generation patterning, ranking technologists agreed at the 2010 International Workshop on EUV Lithography.

Speakers at the just-concluded workshop described steady progress in source power, resist performance, mask defects reduction, line edge roughness (LER) and in addressing other major EUVL challenges. Obert Wood of GlobalFoundries was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award for his work in pioneering EUVL research, which included a 33-year career at Bell Labs. Also, Lithography scanner maker ASML was recognized with an Outstanding Contribution Award for significant technical achievements in developing EUVL scanners.

"Although scanner throughput needs improvement, the remaining specs for beta scanners are expected to be met," said Vivek Bakshi, organizing chair of the workshop and President of EUV Litho, Inc. "Based on the present data, it appears that 40 W of sources will be available this year and 60 W next year for integration in the beta scanners. These sources should provide sufficient throughput for beta scanners to allow chip-makers to develop processes for high volume manufacturing (HVM)."

Sponsored by EUV Litho, Inc. the workshop is an annual R&D-focused meeting that brings together top researchers to outline EUVL technical challenges and brainstorm solutions for them. The 2011 International Workshop on EUVL is planned for June 2011 in Maui.

During this year's June 21-25 meeting, ASML announced it had received six orders for its NXE:3100 beta scanner, and plans to ship the first tool this year and the others in 2011. Jos Benschop, ASML Vice President Research, also said his company is looking at options of multiple suppliers and both laser produced plasma (LPP) and discharge produced plasma (DPP) technologies for EUV sources for beta scanners. Benschop cited lower manufacturing costs, increased fab capacity, and extensibility to resolution below 5 nm as advantages that EUVL has over competing technologies. "EUV offers the best balance between cost, shrink and absence of design restrictions," he said. "It is the only cost-effective way to extend Moore's Law."

Discussion on EUVL sources dominated the meeting, including details from supplier Gigaphoton on its recent announcement of 104 W of power at intermediate focus (IF). Next-generation EUV sources are expected to have wavelengths shorter than the current 13.5 nm, according to several papers presented at the workshop. The state of EUVL mask defects and the metrology for measuring them was another deeply discussed area at the workshop. Invited speaker Kenneth A. Goldberg of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) said "all of the best solutions" for mask defect inspection at the resolution of 22 nm and below can be found in actinic inspection technology, which reviews defects at a wavelength of 13.5 nm.


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