Murray Hill, N.J.--Nov. 24, 1997--Lucent Technologiesand DuPont Photomasks, Inc. (DPI) have agreed to explore manufacturing issues involving masks for use in the Bell LabsScalpel electron beam lithography program.
Using the state-of-the-art manufacturing technology that DPIhas in place to support advanced optical methods of semiconductor production, coupled with their previous experience in membrane mask developments, DPI and Lucent Technologies will address the manufacture of silicon-nitride membrane masks for use in the Scalpel system. By employing available photomask manufacturing technology, Lucent expects to accelerate the commercialization of the Scalpel system for use in semiconductor manufacturing.
The Scalpel (scattering with angular limitation in projection electron-beam lithography) electron-beam lithography system uses high-energy electrons, projected through a photomask, to create integrated circuit features just 0.08-(m wide, overcoming many of the limits placed on the semiconductor industry by current opticallithography production systems.
Sponsored in part by Sematech, the effort is one of several collaborative initiatives by the Austin-based semiconductor manufacturing research consortium to generate knowledge that will lead to an industry consensus on the next generation of lithography technology.
Current chip manufacturing systems produce features as small as 0.35 and 0.25 (m; next-generation optical lithography systems promise to produce features at 0.18 and 0.13 (m. Unlike opticallithography systems, the Scalpel system uses electron beams to exposepatterns on a wafer's surface. Since an electron's wavelength is much smaller than that of ultraviolet light, it is possible to print smaller features using e-beams than using today's manufacturing technologies.
At 0.08 (m, the Scalpel system leapfrogs several generations of design rules and promises continued development of ever-smaller, more powerful chips well into the 21st Century.
The Scalpel electron-beam lithography system, developed at Bell Labs, produced its first sub-tenth-micron features in June 1996. Late last month, the Scalpel system produced a one-centimeter-square field of features.
In December, 1996, Integrated Solutions, Inc., agreed to develop,market, manufacture and support systems based on Scalpel technology licensed from Lucent Technologies. This spring, MCNC agreed to provide mask blanks for Scalpel systems. Commercial resists are usedto etch the wafers produced with the Scalpel system.
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