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PREVAIL—Electron projection technology approach for next-generation lithography

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12 Author(s)
Dhaliwal, R.S. ; IBM Microelectronics Division, Semiconductor Research and Development Center, Route 52, Hopewell Junction, New York 12533, USA ; Enichen, W.A. ; Golladay, S.D. ; Gordon, M.S.
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This paper is an overview of work in the IBM Microelectronics Division to extend electron-beam lithography technology to the projection level for use in next-generation lithography. The approach being explored—Projection Reduction Exposure with Variable Axis Immersion Lenses (PREVAIL)—combines the high exposure efficiency of massively parallel pixel projection with scanning-probe-forming systems to dynamically correct for aberrations. In contrast to optical lithography systems, electron-beam lithography systems are not diffraction-limited, and their ultimate attainable resolution is, for practical purposes, unlimited. However, their throughput has been—and continues to be—the major challenge for electron-beam lithography. The work described here, currently continuing, has been undertaken to address that challenge. Novel electron optical methods have been used and their feasibility ascertained by means of a Proof-Of-Concept (POC) system containing a Curvilinear Variable Axis Lens (CVAL) for achieving large-distance (>20 mm at a reticle) beam scanning at a resolution of <100 nm, and a high-emittance electron source for achieving uniform illumination of a 1-mm2 section of the reticle. A production-level prototype PREVAIL system, an “alpha” system, for the 100-nm node has been under development jointly with the Nikon Corporation. At the writing of this paper, its electron-optics subsystem had been brought up to basic operation and was being prepared for integration with its mechanical and vacuum subsystem, under development at Nikon facilities.

Note: The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Incorporated is distributing this Article with permission of the International Business Machines Corporation (IBM) who is the exclusive owner. The recipient of this Article may not assign, sublicense, lease, rent or otherwise transfer, reproduce, prepare derivative works, publicly display or perform, or distribute the Article.  

Published in:

IBM Journal of Research and Development  (Volume:45 ,  Issue: 5 )