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MIT reports finer lines for microchips
Date:7/8/2008

own as interference lithography (IL) to generate the patterns, but they did so using a tool called the nanorulerbuilt by MIT graduate studentsthat is designed to perform a particularly high precision variant of IL called scanning-beam interference lithography, or SBIL. This recently developed technique uses 100 MHz sound waves, controlled by custom high-speed electronics, to diffract and frequency-shift the laser light, resulting in rapid patterning of large areas with unprecedented control over feature geometry.

While IL has been around for a long time, the SBIL technique has enabled, for the first time, the precise and repeatable pattern registration and overlay over large areas, thanks to a new high-precision phase detection algorithm developed by Zhao and a novel image reversal process developed by Chang.

According to Schattenburg, "What we're finding is that control of the lithographic imaging process is no longer the limiting step. Material issues such as line sidewall roughness are now a major barrier to still-finer length scales. However, there are several new technologies on the horizon that have the potential for alleviating these problems. These results demonstrate that there's still a lot of room left for scale shrinkage in optical lithography. We don't see any insurmountable roadblocks just yet."


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Contact: Elizabeth Thomson
thomson@mit.edu
617-258-5402
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Source:Eurekalert  

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MIT reports finer lines for microchips
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