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Solving nano-precision measurement challenges in nanolithography and lithography printing

24-08-2021

Lithography printing is a traditional technique that uses oil, fat, or wax to draw on a stone or a metal plate. It was widely regarded as the cheapest process to publish artworks in the 1800s.  However, the modern lithography process utilizes polymer coating applied on the plate or tablet, which allows the image to be directly printed from the plate. With the industrial revolution encompassing every domain, lithography printing has remodeled too sans the physical principle of printing.

As technology advances into micro-scale and nano-scale manufacturing, nanotechnology has also made its way into lithography printing. Commonly referred to as Nanolithography,  it employs advanced engineering techniques to create incredibly small and complex structures at the highest quality. It is this adapting nature to the advancement and efficiency of creating smaller devices with eminent performance, that makes lithography printing a dominant technology even in the modern world. 

Lithography Printing: An Introduction

Nanolithography is a typical process used in the manufacturing of electronic and biomedical devices for creating smaller and faster electronic devices such as nano-chips and computer processors. While the printing sector has revolutionized to cater for and support the development of miniaturized integrated circuits and the semiconductor industry, it also fueled the demand for high precision and reliable sensors for excellent quality control. 

Nanolithography requires reliable displacement sensors which can measure and detect any anomaly with the highest precision. The printing process commonly happens in a technologically advanced lithography machine. In a nutshell, it is based on the extreme ultraviolet (EUV) beam to draw billions and trillions of transistors on a silicon wafer which is eventually made into computer chips.

A single EUV machine can consist of more than 100,000 parts and cost the users in the range of tens of millions. Therefore, it makes sense to invest in high precision measurement technology in the machine to improve the printing accuracy. 

Bestech has supplied state-of-the-art sensors with sophisticated measurement technology to solve for the most challenging measurement applications which require an extremely precise and accurate measurement with outstanding repeatability. Primarily based on the non-contact measurement techniques, sensors with capacitive-based and white light interferometer measurement technology can achieve measurement resolutions in the picometer range, ideally suitable for lithography printing applications.

We have been able to demonstrate the capability and reliability of our displacement sensors in these precise nano-positioning applications. Some of the proven applications include. 

Positioning in Lithography Printing Machines

Lithography printing processes demand high resolution and long-term stable machine movement measurement to achieve maximum precision. In the process of lithography, a mask or pattern is shifted onto a wafer or substrate with the help of photons. For precise nanometer and sub-nanometer positioning of these masks, a white light interferometer is used. 

There is a  key system of motion in the lithography printing process known as the wafer stage. When the light is projected through a blueprint of the printing pattern or mask, the mask illuminates. To make sure the process goes seamlessly capacitive displacement sensors are used for measuring the position of the travel path so as to enable nanometer-accurate positioning in lithography printing.

A lithography machine comprises a complex optical system made up of dozens of individual lenses. Each of these lenses has to be positioned correctly to ensure the highest quality of an image. To ensure the position of lenses is accurate non-contact, inductive displacement sensors (eddy current) are used that accurately measure the position of lens elements to achieve the highest possible imaging accuracy. 

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Bestech Australia provides a complete range of displacement sensors that can serve the nano-measurement purpose in highly sensitive lithography printing. We offer an entirely customizable range of high precision and high response time solutions for measuring any displacement. 

 

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