JMAR Technologies Inc., a provider of precision micro- and nanotechnology products, has announced that its JMAR/JSAL NanoLithography Inc. (JSAL) division, Burlington, VT, has received a $1.2-million contract from a major New England-based aerospace firm to provide a continuing range of xray lithography (XRL) support services funded by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). The work involves collaboration with the research staff of the University of Vermont (UVM) to conduct semiconductor device demonstrations using point-source XRL technology and other important tasks aimed at advancing the state-of-the-art of XRL.
Under this program JSAL will improve the performance of its current Model 5 stepper by adding a new subsystem known as an Adaptive Wavelength Illumination System. The AWIS will increase the semiconductor wafer processing throughput rate of the stepper by automating certain stepper alignment functions currently performed manually by the operator. JSAL will also replace critical components on the stepper with those built from composite materials, a move that would further enhance the stepper's manufacturing throughput speed and precision.
JSAL will work with the UVM team to perform a series of tasks that, collectively, are called "Mask Magnification Correction" a method which provides for controlling X-ray mask magnification and demonstrating it on the manufacture of actual semiconductor devices. JSAL Senior Vice President for Technology, Robert Selzer commented, "We have been supporting this xray lithography program for several years and look forward to continuing to work side-by-side with these dedicated organizations to demonstrate the full potential of point-source XRL as the most effective way to produce the high-performance semiconductor devices needed for several critically important military products programs."
Dr. Daniel J. Fleming, president of JSAL, concluded, "This contract continues the work of improving the cost performance benefits of XRL, both now and into the future. We fully expect XRL to be able to produce circuits having feature sizes comparable to, or smaller than, those produceable by other technologies. XRL's advantage is, and will continue to be, its simplicity compared to other Next Generation Lithography (NGL) technologies, resulting in not only a lower overall cost to manufacture very high performance semiconductor devices of all types but to do so at the volume required by industry."