Since the 1960's, e-beam direct write has been left standing at the altar of new nodes, hoping to cross the threshold into the fab... And it's not because optical is for fab lithographers what an Alfa Romeo was for The Graduate.* It has to do with the economics of Moore's Law and what it takes for novel patterning technologies to meet its criteria. The barriers to e-beam making it into the fab have been a complex interplay of economics, technology, and the social psychology of the fab. This keynote dovetails the author’s plenary talk, showing why this is the case. So, what’s kept e-beam in play over the decades? As Frank Abboud pointed out so well in his 2018 plenary, investments in e-beam for direct-write have had the side benefit of making feasible the mask making technology needed for optical. So, the same question stays in play: Will e-beam cross the threshold to the fab after all these years? After all, that Alfa Romeo has grown to be very expensive over the years. The presentation will address these questions and conclude with an assessment of the economics needed to take Novel Patterning Technologies across the threshold to become new production realities.
* The title is an homage to the 1966 movie The Graduate
G. Dan Hutcheson, "e-beam direct write: why it's always left standing at the altar of new nodes," Proc. SPIE 10584, Novel Patterning Technologies 2018, 105840F (Presented at SPIE Advanced Lithography: February 27, 2018; Published: 19 March 2018); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2302608.
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