High Resolution Imaging Technology: a View of the Future
Université du Texas à Austin
Mon, Nov. 17th 2008, 16:30
Amphi P015, PHELMA Polygone
The US National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI) has focused hundreds of millions of dollars of research funds into the area of nanoscale structure fabrication. Government agencies have great expectations for the influence of this research on the world economy and on employment. Meanwhile, the drive to manufacture semiconductor devices with ever smaller features has inspired amazing improvements in imaging materials science and technology for about 3 decades. Billions of dollars have been spent in efforts to devise methods and materials that enable the printing of ever smaller transistors. The most advanced microelectronic devices in full scale production have minimum features in the range of 40-50nm and fully functional transistors with 10nm gates have been characterized. The lithographic process that has been used to generate these “nano-structures” is becoming extremely expensive and the cost of that process threatens the economics of the semiconductor manufacturing industry and the expectations of the NNI founders.
Imprint lithography, a much lower cost, high resolution patterning technology is emerging as a potential adjunct to photolithography. Imprint lithography loosely defines a set of techniques that include several forms of embossing; stamping and molding that show great promise as low cost methods for producing nanostructures. These techniques take many different forms, each of which has it’s own special applicability. The technique we call Step and Flash Imprint Lithography (S-FIL) is designed to allow the fabrication of high resolution, high aspect ratio images that can be aligned with precision. The process accurately replicates arbitrary shapes as small as 20nm and structures smaller than 5 nanometers in width have been faithfully reproduced. The state of high resolution imaging processes for production of devices with nanoscale features will be presented with emphasis on Step and Flash Imprint Lithography Process