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A SHARP New Microscope for the Next Generation of Microchips Print
Friday, 28 October 2011 00:00

Scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) have partnered with colleagues at leading semiconductor manufacturers to create the world’s most advanced extreme-ultraviolet (EUV) microscope.

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Kenneth Goldberg is seen in the reflective coating of a photolithography mask, contained in the clear plastic box, which he’s about to measure at the Advanced Light Source’s beamline 11.3.2. Inset at lower right shows a mask’s extreme-ultraviolet (EUV) absorbing layer, printed on a six-inch square of glass coated with multiple layers of molybdenum and silicon only billionths of a meter thick to reflect unwanted EUV. The patterned layer represents one level of a working microprocessor or memory chip, which may have 20 or more such levels. Its structures are less than one ten-millionth of a meter across and diffract visible light in rainbow patterns.