X-ray photolithography in Russia

In the early days of microelectronics, in 1965, one of the founders of Intel, Gordon Moore suggested, which was later called Moore's Law: the number of transistors on a chip would double every year or two, and their dimensions — the same rate decrease. And if the 1971 design rules chip production was 10 microns, but now we are talking about the size of less than 20 nm.

The key technology that provides the achievement of these results is photolithography. Photolithography equipment — one of the most complex, precision and costly machinery. The price of such units has increased from tens of thousands of dollars to tens of millions.

  • Lead researcher of the Institute of Spectroscopy, RAS, Konstantin Koshelev
  • Lead researcher of the Institute of Spectroscopy, RAS, Konstantin Koshelev

In recent years, the Dutch company has developed ASMLithography photolithography equipment at a wavelength of 193 nm with a resolution of 32 nm, which is being tested in Intel and Taiwan's TSMC. However, the possibility of further reducing the cardinal design rules at a wavelength of 193 nm source, many experts doubt.

Back in the early 1990s, there was an idea to create an optical lithography at a wavelength of 13.5 nm — is a range of soft X-rays or extreme ultraviolet (extreme ultraviolet, EUV). This wavelength was selected because to create a radiation source and optics in the range of 13.5 to 193 nm was not possible. The problem is that at a wavelength of 13.5 nm can not use traditional refractive optics, because of the intense light absorption by all such materials. Therefore, in such optical systems, reflective x-ray optics are used, i.e. with the respective interference mirror coating. 

  • Optical scheme of EUV-photolithography
  • Optical scheme of EUV-photolithography

The development of the optical system and its components for photolithographic facilities operating at this wavelength, and the prototype of the unit itself has been at the Institute for Microstructure Physics (IMP) in Nizhny Novgorod, Russian Academy of Sciences Corresponding Member of the Russian Academy of Sciences Nikolai Salashchenko. The radiation source is created by a leading scientist Konstantin Koshelev the Institute of Spectroscopy (ISAN) RAS in Troitsk. A ultra-precise positioning systems that can be used in the photolithography and plants engaged in "Laboratory" Amphora "" in Moscow. 

Technical and economic details …

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