Tokyo Electron Limited will introduce its coater/developer to the imec-ASML joint high numerical aperture (NA) extreme ultraviolet lithography (EUV) research laboratory (high NA lab) in the Netherlands. The equipment will be integrated inline with ASML’s EXE:5000 next-generation high NA EUV lithography system with a 0.55 numerical aperture, which is scheduled to be put to operation in 2023.
As a leader in nanoelectronics and digital technology, imec has been undertaking R&D on advanced semiconductors, scaling of systems, silicon photonics, artificial intelligence, fifth-generation (5G) and beyond communications, and sensing technology, using its leading-edge R&D infrastructure and a team comprising more than 4,500 specialists and top-level researchers. By collaborating with imec and ASML in technological development, Tokyo Electron aims to meet customers’ requirements for further miniaturization.
The coater/developer planned to be introduced to the high NA lab is equipped with a cutting-edge function to support widely used and chemically proven amplified resists and underlayer films and spin-on metal-containing resists. Spin-on metal-containing resists have demonstrated high resolution and high etch resistance, and attract attention as resists that enable finer patterning.
However, metal-containing resists require sophisticated control, including control of pattern size and of metal contamination on the backside and bevel of the wafer. The coater/developer to be installed at the high NA lab incorporates new process modules capable of handling metal-containing resists, meeting these challenges.
A single unit of Tokyo Electron’s coater/developer enables inline processing of various materials, including chemically amplified resists, metal-containing resists, and underlayer films. This ability both allows flexible fab operation and achieves high productivity and high operation rate, which are advantages of a coater/developer.
The company highlights having products for multiple consecutive processes in its lineup. Leveraging on this strength, Tokyo Electron provides comprehensive patterning solutions that include etching process in addition to coating/developing for the lithography process in collaboration with resist materials manufacturers.