Approved Industrial Partnership Programme
|Title||Physics for Nano Lithography (PNL)|
|Executive organisational unit||ARCNL|
|Programme management||Prof.dr. J. Frenken|
|Duration||2014 - 2018|
|Cost estimate||M€ 9,0|
This Industrial Partnership Programme between the newly founded Advanced Research Centre for Nano Lithography (ARCNL) and ASML focuses on the fundamental physics involved in current and future key technologies in nanolithography, primarily for the semiconductor industry. With its move to EUV light, ASML has entered completely new territory. The grandiose technological challenges involved in the effort to generate kilowatts of light, currently in a narrow bandwidth around 13.5 nm and in the future at even shorter wavelengths, are intimately linked to unexplored and unanswered questions in fundamental physics and chemistry. Next generations of lithography tools, and hence future generations of more compact and powerful microelectronics, can no longer be developed by ever more extreme forms of 'traditional' engineering but instead require a significant contribution of new, fundamental breakthroughs. This puts ARCNL, with its focus on fundamental science, in a key position. This Industrial Partnership Programme forms an integral part of the research within ARCNL.
Background, relevance and implementation
With its recent step from light with wavelengths in the (deep) ultraviolet (UV, 193 nm) to the regime of the extreme ultraviolet (EUV, 13.5 nm and below), the field of advanced lithography for the semiconductor industry has been forced to develop radically novel technology. The working principle of the latest EUV lithography instrumentation is based on a spectacular, new combination of phenomena, involving such diverse subjects as laser physics, plasma physics, fluid dynamics, surface physics, and EUV optics. The point has been reached that significant progress in this new technology can no longer be maintained on the basis of further engineering. Instead, serious advances are required in fundamental knowledge in each of these areas of research. Generating precisely this basis of fundamental knowledge forms the key objective of ARCNL. In addition to the primary focus on the physics connected to the latest lithography technology, ARCNL also aim for a more distant perspective, for example by exploring the physics underlying alternative ways to generate EUV light, such as the Free Electron Laser (FEL), and alternative ways to create nanopatterns, such as Direct Self-Assembly (DSA).
The programme will have well-chosen evaluation moments where international experts (from the Scientific Advisory Board of ARCNL) evaluate both results and future plans. In addition, the progress and plans will be regularly discussed during ARCNL governing board meetings. The full programme will be evaluated in 2015 by international referees. The FOM advisory committees on Condensed Matter and Optical Physics (COMOP), Nanophysics/-technology (NANO) and Phenomenological Physics (FeF) will additionally advise the Executive Board of FOM based on the international review report.