Soquel, CA, December 4, 2003 ). Soquel has received a contract from the National Science Foundation to develop a new ultraviolet laser to be implemented into a photomask inspection and metrology tool for the 90, 65 and 45 nm semiconductor process nodes. This new solid-state 193 nm light source is based upon the patented Actinix method of generating sub-200 nm light via frequency mixing.
The light source is designed in particular to enable high resolution actinic imaging and precision phase shift measurements of advanced photomasks consistent with current ITRS guidelines. The expected salient features of the laser will be its stable output, high repetition rate, compact footprint and low cost of ownership.
This contract will accelerate the development of the Actinix phase metrology platform, the PMT-193, an advanced tool that measures the phase shift of extremely small features (less than 200 nm) on next generation phase shift photomasks. The laser is expected to also find utility in other lithographic and optical measurement applications.
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