193-nm immersion lithography on track for 45-nm half pitch

September 22, 2005, Bruges, Belgium--Industry experts here last week at the 2nd International Symposium on Immersion Lithography concluded that 193-nm immersion lithography has demonstrated significant progress in all aspects of technology and is on track for insertion into volume manufacturing, as well as showing good prospects for extending to subsequent generations.

September 22, 2005, Bruges, Belgium--Industry experts here last week at the 2nd International Symposium on Immersion Lithography concluded that 193-nm immersion lithography has demonstrated significant progress in all aspects of technology and is on track for insertion into volume manufacturing, as well as showing good prospects for extending to subsequent generations.

"With more than 380 lithographers attending the 2nd International Symposium on Immersion Lithography, broad support to develop immersion lithography has been clearly shown," said Kurt Ronse, general chair of the Symposium and Lithography Department Director at IMEC (Leuven, Belgium). "This strong drive has resulted in significant progress on all critical issues and a general acceptance that immersion lithography will be a key technology for 65-nm and 45-nm half-pitch critical layer printing."

The latest timelines of the immersion scanner suppliers remain unchanged. Understanding of resist and top-coat interaction mechanisms with water is clearly under way and continuous improvements have been reported. Defects are still a major issue and will remain so. Considerable progress has been achieved compared to last year's Symposium, however, with significant growth in understanding of defect generation mechanisms. Process defects are being widely explored now, and first solutions are in preparation, demonstrating that immersion is on its way.

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