Nikon Releases the NSR-S636E ArF Immersion Scanner

Advanced solution for critical layers, and supports 3D semiconductor device production

December 6, 2023

NSR-S636E ArF Immersion Scanner

TOKYO - Nikon Corporation is pleased to announce the release of the NSR-S636E ArF immersion scanner. With the highest productivity of any lithography system across the impressive history of Nikon, the NSR-S636E is an immersion lithography scanner for critical layers that delivers superior overlay accuracy and ultra-high throughput. The NSR-S636E is the optimum patterning solution for the many diverse structures used in cutting-edge semiconductors, including 3D devices.

Release overview

Product name NSR-S636E ArF Immersion Scanner
Sales launch January 2024

Development background

As the digital transformation accelerates, high-performance semiconductors that can process and transmit larger amounts of data more quickly are becoming increasingly critical. The key enablers in technology innovation for leading-edge semiconductor performance are circuit pattern miniaturization and 3D semiconductor device structures, and ArF immersion scanners are essential for both of these manufacturing processes. When compared to conventional semiconductors, wafer warpage and distortions are more likely to occur during 3D semiconductor manufacturing, necessitating even more advanced scanner correction and compensation capabilities than ever before.
The NSR-S636E ArF immersion scanner utilizes an enhanced iAS*1 that performs sophisticated wafer multipoint measurement before exposure. This innovative system delivers next-level overlay accuracy using high-precision measurement and extensive wafer warpage and distortion correction capabilities, all while maintaining maximum scanner throughput. Overall scanner output is also 10-15% higher*2 than current generation systems, resulting in optimized efficiency in cutting-edge semiconductor device production. Nikon continues to provide invaluable solutions like the NSR-S636E for leading IC production and to support the development of our digital society.

  • *1Abbreviation of inline Alignment Station. This system measures wafers with high speed and accuracy and enables grid error correction without reducing exposure system throughput.
  • *2This can vary depending on usage conditions and other factors.

Key Benefits

Excellent performance across diverse production processes including 3D-ICs where wafer deformation can easily occur

Enhanced accuracy of the inline alignment station (iAS) that performs wafer multipoint measurement before exposure enables heightened accuracy in measuring deformations such as wafer warping and distortion. Advanced measurement and compensation capabilities improve process robustness and provide superior overlay performance, without impacting productivity. These innovations are invaluable to diverse manufacturing processes including 3D-ICs that require ultra-high overlay accuracy and will continue to be developed to achieve unprecedented semiconductor performance.

Highest productivity among all Nikon semiconductor lithography systems

Through comprehensive improvements in throughput and daily productivity optimization, the NSR-S636E ArF immersion scanner boosts overall output by 10-15% compared to current models. This is the highest level of productivity across the entire history of Nikon semiconductor lithography systems. Nikon is committed to continuing to push the limits of photolithography through industry-leading solutions like the NSR-S636E to support our customers' manufacturing objectives for many years to come.

Performance Overview

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Resolution ≤ 38 nm
Lens-NA (numerical aperture) 1.35
Wavelength ArF 193 nm
Reduction ratio 1:4
Maximum exposure area 26 mm x 33 mm
Overlay accuracy MMO*3:≤ 2.1 nm
Throughput ≥ 280 wafers/hour (96 shots)
  • *3MMO (mix-and-match overlay): Overlay accuracy between machines of the same model (ex. S636E #1 to S636E #2)

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