Nikon Announces ArF immersion Scanner for Double Patterning

Lithography technology for the 32 nanometer generation

February 20, 2008

Nikon Corporation (Michio Kariya, President) announced they will provide an immersion scanner for Double Patterning* based on the successful NSR-S610C platform to their customers in the 4th quarter of 2008. By improving the performance of the mature NSR-S610C ArF immersion scanner to address the critical overlay requirements of double patterning, Nikon can deliver a low risk solution for Double Patterning development based on the proven Tandem Stage platform and Nikon proprietary Local Fill Technology.

  • *In Double Patterning, a single, dense circuit pattern is split into two coarser patterns that can be printed separately with current immersion technology. By combining the two exposure results on the wafer, the final, dense circuit pattern is achieved.

VLSI chips are becoming ever denser and immersion lithography is now well established as the leading edge technology for 40-45 nm node volume manufacturing. At the 32 nm node, Double Patterning is the leading technology contender. In Double Patterning, one of the key challenges for the exposure tool is overlay accuracy. The final overlay accuracy is a combination of the two individual exposure overlay accuracies, so each single exposure overlay accuracy must be much more accurate than in previous generations. The current expected requirements are around 3 to 4 nm. 32 nm node volume production is scheduled to begin between 2011 and 2013. To meet this schedule, some customers will start development of Double Patterning technology in late 2008 and early 2009. By using a mature platform as the base for this development, Nikon offers a low risk solution to allow customers to quickly begin their Double Patterning development.

The information is current as of the date of publication. It is subject to change without notice.