Microlithography 2005
Conference paper

Looking into the crystal ball: Future device learning using hybrid E-beam and optical lithography

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Semiconductor process development teams are faced with increasing process and integration complexity while the time between lithographic capability and volume production has remained more or less constant over the last decade. Lithography tools have often gated the volume checkpoint of a new device node on the ITRS roadmap. The processes have to be redeveloped after the tooling capability for the new groundrule is obtained since straight scaling is no longer sufficient. In certain cases the time window that the process development teams have is actually decreasing. In the extreme, some forecasts are showing that by the time the 45nm technology node is scheduled for volume production, the tooling vendors will just begin shipping the tools required for this technology node. To address this time pressure, IBM has implemented a hybrid-lithography strategy that marries the advantages of optical lithography (high throughput) with electron beam direct write lithography (high resolution and alignment capability). This hybrid-lithography scheme allows for the timely development of semiconductor processes for the 32nm node, and beyond. In this paper we will describe how hybrid lithography has enabled early process integration and device learning and how IBM applied e-beam & optical hybrid lithography to create the world's smallest working SRAM cell 1.