SAN JOSE, Calif. At the SPIE Microlithography conference here on Tuesday (Feb. 21), Japan’s Nikon Corp. disclosed the details of its next-generation immersion lithography tool for use in chip making down to the 32-nm node.
Nikon’s new scanner, dubbed the NSR-S610C, is a 193-nm immersion tool with a numerical aperture (NA) of 1.30. The S610C is expected to be officially introduced at this year’s Semicon West, but the company tipped details at SPIE.
The machine will use a new multi-axis, three-mirror catadioptric lens, said Soichi Owa, Nikon Fellow and development manager for Nikon (Tokyo), in a presentation.
The system is geared for memory production down to the 45-nm half-pitch node and logic chip manufacturing at 32-nm, according to Nikon. Shipments are slated for the fourth quarter of 2006.
It uses a similar platform as the NSR-S609B, a 193-nm wavelength, immersion scanner said to have a NA projection lens of 1.07. Originally announced last summer, Nikon’s S609B is targeted for mass production of 55-nm memory products and development of 45-nm devices. Toshiba Corp. reportedly received the first tool.
Like the S609B, the new machine is based on what it calls a Local Fill Technology and a Tandem Stage design. Nikon’s proprietary Local Fill Technology claims to eliminate scanner-induced immersion defects with no bubbles, water spots or backside wafer contamination. This technology also eliminates evaporation of the immersion fluid, providing a critical advantage in preventing immersion related overlay problems, according to Nikon.
To increase throughput, Nikon developed the Tandem Stage design that utilizes two stages with different functions to optimize the performance of the tool for immersion lithography.
However, Nikon’s rival, ASML Holding NV, still claims to be the leader in immersion. ASML of the Netherlands will shortly ship its first hyper NA tool, the Twinscan XT:1700i, a machine geared for the 45-nm node.
That system is made using a combination of a 1.2 NA catadioptric lens, polarized illumination and water based immersion technology. ASML expects to ship between 20 and 25 Twinscan XT:1700i immersion lithography systems in 2006.