Multi-patterning techniques with ArF immersion lithography is expected to continue as main solution for manufacturing IC chips. The reduction of laser downtime has great impact on the productivity of chipmakers. The laser downtime is closely related to the lifetime of consumable parts of the laser. Gigaphoton developed new laser modules, chamber and LNM (Line Narrowing Module) which have longer lifetime than current one. New chamber demonstrated 1.2 times longer lifetime than current chamber. New LNM demonstrated 1.8 times longer lifetime than current LNM. These new modules will help to reduce the downtime of the laser.
193nm ArF excimer lasers are widely used as light sources for the lithography process of semiconductor production.
193nm ArF exicmer lasers are expected to continue to be the main solution in photolithography, since advanced
lithography technologies such as multiple patterning and Self-Aligned Double Patterning (SADP) are being developed.
In order to apply these technologies to high-volume semiconductor manufacturing, the key is to reduce the total
operating cost. To reduce the total operating cost, life extension of consumable part and reduction of power consumption
are an important factor. The chamber life time and power consumption are a main factor to decide the total operating
cost. Therefore, we have developed the new technology for extension of the chamber life time and low electricity
consumption. In this paper, we will report the new technology to extend the life time of the laser chamber and to reduce
the electricity consumption.
193nm ArF excimer lasers are widely used as light sources for the lithography process of semiconductor production. At first, ArF excimer lasers have been used in semiconductor productions at the 90nm node and recently ArF excimer lasers have begun to be used for the 32nm node, by the progress in the immersion technology and the double-patterning technology. Furthermore, considering current status of development of the lithography technology using a next-generation light source, or extreme ultraviolet (EUV) light source, the start of mass production with the next-generation light source is estimated to start from 2015. Therefore, there is a need for extension of 193nm immersion lithography technology. By using the multi-patterning and double-patterning technology, design rules below limit at single exposure is possible. However, throughput is reduced due to increased lithography processes. In order to improve a decrease in throughput, a high power ArF excimer laser and larger size wafer (450mm in diameter) is needed. We have developed a new high power laser with the concept of eco-friendly. In this paper, we will introduce technologies used for our latest ArF excimer laser having tunable output power between 90W and 120W and report its performance data.