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Chapter 5:
There Are No Fundamental Limits to Optical Lithography
Moore’s law, the continued doubling of semiconductor integrated circuit capability on an ∼18-month time scale, has become ingrained in popular culture as well as in technology circles. Electronics, communications (in bandwidth capability of a fiber and in total installed bandwidth), and storage technologies (in magnetic storage bits/cm2) each have their own “Moore’s law” describing exponential increases in capability. Together, these technologies define the “information age” and are dramatically impacting society. Advances in optical lithography have been responsible for much of this improvement, by some estimates as much as 50% of the advance in scaling of silicon circuits. Descriptions of the evolution of optical lithography from the beginning of silicon integrated circuits [wavelength of 432 nm (G-line of Hg); proximity printing] to today’s advanced scanners [wavelength of 193 nm (ArF laser); 4× reduction optics; NA ∼ 0.75; phase-shift masks with optical proximity correction] have been presented elsewhere by the pioneers of the field.
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