Hinds Teams with SEMATECH to Develop DUV Instrument

Hinds Instruments has been awarded a contract with International SEMATECH (ISMT) to expedite the development of a DUV birefringence measurement system that will allow the 157nm microlithography industry to characterize birefringence in calcium fluoride (CaF2).

In May 2001, as part of a project with International SEMATECH, researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) reported intrinsic birefringence in CaF2 that affects lens design and images at the wafer level in 157nm microlithography systems. To respond to this issue Hinds Instruments, the leader in low-level visible birefringence measurements, is extending its core competency to produce a system to characterize birefringence in any optical material transparent at 193nm or 157nm.

This system will provide the lithography industry with a tool for quantifying both residual and intrinsic birefringence problems, thereby supporting the development of solutions, at both lab and fab levels, for producing CaF2 optical materials of sufficient quality. Hinds has been aggressively pursuing the development of a DUV birefringence measurement system and plans to have an engineering model operational in early 2002. A commercial system capable of measuring samples as large as 400mm diameter x 270mm thick is scheduled to be available during the second half of 2002.

Hinds Instruments is a leader in developing and supplying birefringence measurement technology for a broad range of applications. Hinds has worked with the microlithography industry to quantify birefringence in fused silica optical materials used in current state-of-the-art steppers and scanners. The company, founded in 1971, is located in Hillsboro, OR and employs a staff of scientists and engineers who have produced award winning measurement solutions to meet microlithography challenges. The firm's Web sites, www.hindspem.com and www.exicor.com, provide further information about the company and its products.

International SEMATECH is a global semiconductor technology development consortium that has effectively represented the semiconductor manufacturing industry on innovation issues since 1988. Its members are Agere Systems, AMD, Conexant, Hewlett- Packard, Hynix, IBM, Infineon, Intel, Motorola, Philips, STMicroelectronics, Texas Instruments and TSMC.

ISMT conducts state-of-the-art research, and is a highly regarded technology partner whose mission is to promote the interests common to all chipmakers. It has extensive experience collaborating with equipment and materials suppliers, as well as government and academic research centers, to refine the tools and technology necessary to produce future generations of chips.

Additional information may be found at www.sematech.org.

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