The semiconductor industry is one that is innovative and always changing. Since the 1960s, the semiconductor industry has continuously pushed itself to increase the amount of transistors that are able to fit on every new generation of chips. The more packed these chips become, the smaller the size of the transistors. In order to meet the regular requirement of increased transistors, changes in lithography machines are required. As such, the semiconductor industry has focused efforts on consistently making improvements to lithography technologies.
The first lithography machine used ultraviolet light, which had a wavelength of 365 nanometers. As the years passed, lithography machines began to use deep ultraviolet light. The first version ran at a wavelength of 248 nanometers before improving to 193 nanometers. The latest technology available in the semiconductor industry is that of Extreme Ultraviolet (EUV) Lithography, which runs at a wavelength of 13.5 nanometers.
The wavelength of the light used in the lithography machines directly affects the quality of the resolution. With each technological improvement, the semiconductor industry has been able to print chips with smaller and smaller features at higher resolutions. The EUV lithography technologies that are available in the semiconductor industry today are able to produce products that many thought would be impossible only a few short years ago.
While EUV lithography is impressive, it is still in its early phases and could use some improvements. For those in the semiconductor industry wanting to introduce EUV lithography to their production, they should do so gradually and get to know the complexities of the system. It is capable of producing a great product, but the margin of error is much smaller than with previous lithography machines. Additionally, EUV light absorbs all matter, meaning that a vacuum must be used. Due to this setback, EUV lithography is only able to process a few wafers per hour. This, however, will likely be improved upon in a short period of time.
EUV lithography is the future of the semiconductor industry and is capable of producing the highest quality products. At Shin-Etsu MicroSi, we offer our customers in the semiconductor industry only the highest quality photoresists and other materials required to create an efficient, well performing semiconductor production process. For more information on lithography or any materials related to the semiconductor industry, please call Shin-Etsu MicroSi at (480) 893-8898 or contact us online.